The right-wing coup in Loas has apparently collapsed after one day. Neutralist premier Prince Souvanna?
Helicopters flying pan to tanks
MLS Shot across fields to headquarters
Reporters running to meeting
Pan Souvanna Phouma (with pipe); Souphanouvong (screen left) and Gen. Phoumi Nosovan (screen right)
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Background: The right-wing coup in Loas has apparently collapsed after one day. Neutralist premier Prince Souvanna Phouma has been released from house arrest and the leaders of the coup have apologized. The coup took place shortly after Souvanna returned to Vientiane from the plain of Jars where he had held unsuccessful talks with other coalition leaders: General Phoumi Nosavan, the right wing leader; and Prince Souphanouvong, the leader of the Laotian pro-communists.
Fighting among the three Laotian factions has gone on ever since an international conference in Geneva set up the nation's coalition government. On Friday (17 April) the three factions met on the Plain of Jars in an effort to settle the differences dividing the government. The efforts at negotiation were unsuccessful, and Souvanna is reported to have planned to resign because of the lack of agreement. He arrived at the capital Saturday night after the meeting; at 5:00 AM the next morning, right wing troops were racing through the streets.