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US: Laos obstructs probe for 3 missing men

WASHINGTON (AP) – The State Department says authorities in Laos have obstructed U.S. Embassy efforts to investigate the disappearance of three Laotian-Americans in southern Laos in January.

A department official said Tuesday two Embassy staff members traveled March 6 to Savannakhet province to investigate reports that the men may have died in a car accident. Local officials refused to provide any information and physically prevented them from entering a site which may be related to the case.

The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak on-the-record about the case, said the U.S. will continue to press the Lao government for assistance.

Khammanh Kongdaravong (kam-MAHN kong-DAH-rah-wong) said Tuesday she was still waiting for information about her husband Souli (SOO-lee), one of three missing Minnesota residents.

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