Laos general and Hmong leader Vang Pao dies in exile





Vang Pao, the former general and leader of his Hmong ethnic group in Laos, has died in exile in the US, aged 81.

He had been in hospital for about 10 days before his death late on Thursday.

As a young man, he had fought against the Japanese during World War II, and with the French against the North Vietnamese in the 1950s.

He led a 15-year CIA-sponsored secret war in Laos during the Vietnam War and, when it was lost, led tens of thousands of his people into exile.

Thousands of ethnic Hmong are expected to attend his funeral in Fresno, California.

"He'll be remembered as a great general, a great warrior, a great Hmong soldier," his friend Charlie Waters told AFP news agency.

However the response from the Laos government was muted. "He was an ordinary person, so we do not have any reaction," a government spokesman was quoted by AFP as saying....



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