Vietnamese MIA remains in Laos buried, DNA samples collected

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The minlitary command in central Vietnam on Saturday buried the remains of 141 Vietnamese soldiers who were killed in action when they were dispatched to Laos during the Vietnam War.

Fourteen of the 141 soldiers were identified, and DNA samples of the remaining 127 were collected before burial for future identification, according to the the Military Zone 4 High Command.

This is the first time DNA information of Vietnamese martyrs has been saved.

The remains, which were buried in Thanh Hoa Province, had been found by a Vietnamese military unit in search missions conducted between November 2010 and April 2011 in Laos's Huaphanh Province.

On May 6, the remains of another 20 Vietnamese martyrs sent to  Laos, found during other search missions, were reburied in Thua Thien Hue Province.

Lieutenant Colonel Tran Van Dan of the Thua Thien Hue Military Unit said his unit has cooperated with Lao agencies to search for the remains of Vietnamese soldiers over the past 20 years. The remains of more than 5,000 soldiers have been found so far, he said. 

On May 4, the Lao Veterans Association inaugurated a monument in Vientiane for Vietnamese soldiers who gave their lives in the neighboring country. The monument was built at a cemetery in Turakhom District, where 26 Lao and Vietnamese martyrs were buried.

Vietnam began to send soldiers to Laos around 1946 during the Indochina Wars. The Vietnamese Volunteer Force to Laos was officially formed on October 30 in 1949. It provided crucial assistance to Laos during the fight against the French and US armies.

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