BANGKOK�Two more bombs have exploded in the Lao capital, Vientiane, injuring three people and causing minor property damage, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports.
A bomb went off late Saturday, May 8, at around 9 p.m. in a parking lot adjacent to the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, witnesses said, in the Phosy Village area of Vientiane. Three people were injured, a Toyota pickup sustained major damage, and 3-4 cars parked nearby received minor damage.
The blast occurred while people were joining in official celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, witnesses said. Partygoers fled after the blast and officials instructed them not to talk about the explosion, they said. No information was available on the condition of those who were injured.
A day later, another bomb exploded at around 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 9, near a rehabilitation facility for the disabled on Thadeua Road, opposite the Beton concrete factory, sources told RFA's Lao service. The road is a major highway leading from Vientiane to the border post of Thadeua.
The noise was deafening, sources said, but the blast caused no casualties and property damage was limited to shattered windows in the area of the explosion.
No comment on either incident was immediately available from Lao officials, and no one claimed responsibility. The second blast occurred about 200 meters from the bridge.
On May 2, a time bomb exploded in Vientiane, killing the suspected bomber before he was able to plant it. That explosion also occurred at around 8 p.m. on a Sunday, near a building now occupied by the Lao Women�s Union, police sources told RFA�s Lao service. The building, located on a thoroughfare known as Manthathourath Road, was formerly occupied by the Lao Civil Aviation office.
The man who was killed in the explosion appeared to be a Lao lowlander in his late 20s, police said. "We believe he was a bad element," one police source said, suggesting the bomber was a troublemaker aiming to undermine the Lao government.
The first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River opened in April 1994. It links the northeastern Thai province of Nong Khai to the Lao capital Vientiane. The Lao government held a ceremony commemorating the anniversary in Vientiane on May 1.
Two earlier explosions in February and April caused no injuries.
On April 2, a bomb exploded outside a Russian restaurant in Vientiane but caused no deaths or injuries. That bomb was planted under a Toyota pickup truck in the parking lot of a Russian restaurant, Katusha�s, located next to the Xieng Nhun pagoda along the Mekong River.
On Feb. 4, another bomb went off near the Patouxay monument in Vientiane. No casualties were reported. A Lao official who spoke to RFA on condition of anonymity said it was a time-bomb explosion, which came during a high-profile meeting in Vientiane of tourism ministers and officials from ASEAN countries along with China, Japan, and South Korea.
RFA broadcasts news and information to Asian listeners who lack regular access to full and balanced reporting in their domestic media. Through its broadcasts and call-in programs, RFA aims to fill a critical gap in the lives of people across Asia. Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Mandarin, the Wu dialect, Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo and Kham) and Uyghur. It adheres to the highest standards of journalism and aims to exemplify accuracy, balance and fairness in its editorial content.#####