The U.S. State Department is urging Laos to investigate allegations that the Laotian military may have massacred children of the country's Hmong ethnic minority. A department spokesman (Adam Ereli) says the United States is taking the reports seriously and has consistently urged Laos to respect the human rights of its citizens.
Laos has denied the massacre reports.
The allegations were made by the human rights group Amnesty International, which said Laotian troops attacked five unarmed Hmong youths in central Laos in May. Amnesty said it heard and saw reports that the victims, four of them girls, were mutilated by a group of 30 to 40 soldiers.
Listen to our US/Laos report for details.