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Laos Gets Tough With Foreigners Entering Nation

Source: The Nation

THE LAOTIAN government has issued an urgent order for officials to get stricter on foreigners entering the country.

Everyone entering Laos from tomorrow must have complete documents, said a source at the 1st Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge border checkpoint om March 5th.

The move followed several recent incidents of armed robbers assaulting and killing people and the arrest of 20 people for possessing war-grade weapons and drugs in November. Among those arrested are nine Thais, according to the source.

The bust received the Lao government’s attention because it came in the wake of many violent incidents in the country.

They include the robbery and murder of two Chinese tourists in the Sai Somboon area two weeks ago and a shooting that left a number of policemen and soldiers wounded and a number of bystanders dead at highway No 13 north (Muang Kasi-Muang Phu Khun), the source said.

The source said the get-stricter order, which included checking vehicles more thoroughly before they were allowed to enter the country, was issued because Laos was about to have an election.

The name of the Thai nationals arrested in November remained unknown, as it was regarded as a Laotian national security issue, the source said, adding that the Thai embassy in Vientiane would seek channels to provide aid to the Thais.