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February 19, 1971 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-02-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, February 19, 1971 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Seven




1121 s. university:daily 10am-3am

BAN SON, Laos 0P) - Some
patients in the thatch-roof hos-
pital were soldiers wounded in
fighting on the southwest edge of
the Plain of Jars. Their wives
and children - and hordes of
flies - swarmed around them.
Field packs lay by their cots and
their carbines and M16 rifles
leaned against the walls near
Other patients were civilians.
women and children, who had
been evacuated from the hospi-
tal at Long Cheng shortly before
North Vietnamese troops at-
tacked the base.
Several were suffering from
One boy in a daze was fed in-
"He's got typhoid and pneu-
monia both," said Pat Mahoney,
a British doctor working in Laos
for the U.S. Agency for Interna-
tional Development-AID.
"But it's not all bad," Ma-
honey added, breaking into a
grin, "we had three normal de-
liveries today."
Almost all of Dr. Mahoney's
patients at Ban Son, 67 miles
north of Vientiane and 18 miles
from Long Cheng, are hill peo-
ple, members of the Meo and
Lao Tung tribes.
They have been driven stead-
ily south and west by invading
North Vietnamese troops since
1968, when the Vientiane govern-
ment lost its last toehold in Sam
Neua Province.
Now more than 300,000 Meo
and other refugees in Xieng
Khouang Province alone are re-
ceiving U.S. aid, and 168,000 of
them are totally supported by
American food, clothing and
medical care.
Because of renewed fighting or
the threat of fighting, perhaps
40,000 Meos are again fleeing
their homes.
"About 20,000 left the Muong

refugees seek shelter

Soui area when the town fell and
another 20,000 or more have
moved out of the Long Cheng
area," said an American official
directly involved in the refue ,
relief program.
"That's about the same nim-
ber of refugees we had last yar
when Sam Thong fell. So were
really not having to care for
more people-except that many
of these people are the same peo-
ple that left Sam Thong last year
and three fourths of them would
have become self-sufficient this
year if they had not been forcedl
to move again.

dry season. If the North Vietna-
mese continue to put pressur' c
Long Chen, there are going to be
a lot more refugees. In fact, if
Long Cheng falls, I'd say 300.('0)
would be a conservative esti-

are no long walks left-nothing
more than eiglht or 10 days.
''We've got nedics walking the
roads with them, and we'r?
dropping rice. canned meat and
blankets. Probably less than 10
per cent will die this year.'
The refugees are being held
temporarily in safe areas as
close to their homes as possible.
'If Long Cheng falls, we have
contingency plans for resettlng
all 3100.000 of them on a ie
farther south,'' the official said.
.In the meantime. all we can
do is give them plastic rooting
for temporary shelter, rice, meat
and medical care-and hope the
weather is not too bad."

-Aasoclated Press
A YOUNG WOMAN, bearing her families belongings, flees south of
the fighting on a trial 15 miles east of Long Chen.
0 oe Abrt S.ICKf4

U El

-~ I
4v *~ ~,4 9 'N
) ~ ~~A'
~ ~

REFUGEES rest on Site 37, a Laotian army outpost, as they escape the fighting in Laos.


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