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Laos to open Battle of Ban Dong war museum next year

Vientiane, Laos - Communist Laos is planning to open a museum to commemorate 1971's Battle of Ban Dong, one of the pivotal clashes in the Indochina War, media reports said Wednesday.


The Lao-Viet Commemorative War Museum, which cost 5 billion kip (625,000 dollars) to build, was due to open to the public next year in Dong village in Savannakhet province in southern Laos near the site of the battle, also called the Lamson 719 battle.


The fighting pitted communist Lao and Vietnamese troops against the South Vietnamese army and its US allies. The confrontation lasted from February 8 to March 20, 1971, and ended in a resounding victory for the communist forces. It was seen as a turning point in the Indochina War, which eventually ended with a communist victory in 1975.  


"The Lamson 719 battle in Xepon district was one of many places in Laos that witnessed heavy conflict during the struggle against foreign aggressors," said Bounauer Phomkhe, deputy director of the Savannakhet provincial Labour and Social Welfare Department.


Bouauer told the Vientiane Times that the museum would display photos of the battle along with military equipment used by the Lao and Vietnamese forces.


"Both our countries' soldiers fought bravely and sacrificed their lives to protect their lands from US aggressors," he said.



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