Over a thousand refugees from farms in the Thaket area of Laos have fled towards the capital, Vientiane, in the face of a communist armed advance in recent weeks.
Over a thousand refugees from farms in the Thaket area of Laos have fled towards the capital, Vientiane, in the face of a communist armed advance in recent weeks. This week, they were being housed in a temporary camp outside Vientiane, awaiting transport to a more permanent settlement -- having abandoned their crops just before harvest time.
Reports from Vientiane said communist Pathet Lao and Viet Cong forces had been trying to capture Thaket city for two months, and were being held off by government troops.
SYNOPSIS: Over a thousand refugees from farming communities have fled a communist advance in Laos in the past two months -- abandoning their rice crops just before harvest. The majority -- about three hundred families -- have reached the laotian capital of Vientiane in recent weeks, and spent Christmas in a transit camp just outside the city, before being transported to more permanent settlements.
The refugees fled from an area around Thaket, a provincial centre which communist Pathet Lao and Viet Cong forces have been trying to capture for the past two months. According to news reports from Laos, the communists were being held off by government troops.
For the moment, however, the refuges were being philosophical about their fate -- accepting the loss of their farms, and preparing animal traps and fishing nets for their new settlement.