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Laos Claims Ground, Air Raids by Thais in Border Dispute

December 20, 1987|From Reuters

BANGKOK, Thailand — Laos accused Thailand of staging air and ground attacks against its territory last week in a continuing border dispute between the two countries.

The Lao news agency KPL, monitored here Saturday, quoted Laotian Deputy Foreign Minister Souban Srithirath as saying three Thai F-5 fighter planes dropped several 550-pound bombs on three Laotian hills Tuesday and Wednesday. The Thai air raids were followed by heavy artillery shelling of an area four to six miles inside Laos's Sayaboury province, the agency said.

The Thai army commander in chief, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, on Friday proposed early talks between the two countries to settle an eight-month-old border dispute. He said Laotian forces had encroached on Thai soil since last May by occupying villages up to six miles inside Thailand. Vientiane has said the hilly land belongs to Laos.

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