Vietnam buries identified remains of 206 MIAs

By Giang Phuong, Thanh Nien News

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Vietnamese soldiers at a ceremony to commemorate 206 Vietnamese MIAs. Photo: Giang Phuong Vietnamese soldiers at a ceremony to commemorate 206 Vietnamese MIAs. Photo: Giang Phuong

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Tay Ninh authorities held a burial ceremony on Friday to commemorate 206 Vietnamese war martyrs being interred in the south-western province.
The remains were buried in the Hill 82 Cemetery in Tan Bien District after being identified as belonging to 196 Vietnamese who volunteered to assist Cambodian anti-Khmer Rouge fighters along with ten members of Vietnam's liberation force (1954-1975).
Representatives from the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee, the Ministry of Defense, Tay Ninh Province attended the ceremony alongside officials from the Cambodian provinces of Kampong Cham, Tbong Khnum, Siem Riep, Pan Teay Cheay and Pailin.
The ceremony was held as part of the Vietnam War Invalids and Martyrs Day--a national day of remembrance held every year on July 27.
Since 2011, Vietnamese search teams K70 and K71 have recovered and repatriated the remains of 2,980 Vietnamese soldiers who helped Cambodia defeat the genocidal Khmer Rouge during the 1970s.
On July 25, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved a plan to build two new facilities to identify the DNA of the remains of Vietnamese servicemen.
The facilities are to be funded by the Ministry of Public Security and the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, respectively, with a total of VND514 billion (US$24.2 million).
The two investors were also ordered to launch a DNA identification project that will upgrade three existing facilities to accommodate 4,000 samples per year.
Vietnamese statistics estimate that around 300,000 Vietnamese soldiers remain missing in action.
Of the American MIAs, about 1,300 cases remain in Vietnam, according to the latest figures from the US government.

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