March 2, 2016 / 7:14 AM / 2 years ago

One Chinese worker killed in Laos 'militant' attack: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - One Chinese national was killed and three wounded in a “militant” attack in Laos, state media said on Wednesday, in what was at least the second confirmed attack in the country involving Chinese workers this year.

China’s consulate in Luang Prabang province confirmed Tuesday’s attack, “which was aimed at a shed of a Chinese-invested company”, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The wounded workers were sent to a hospital and regional security forces were “sent to wipe out the militants”, Xinhua said.

The report did not give further details and it was unclear if the Chinese workers were intentionally targeted.

Xinhua said another attack occurred around the same time in the region targeting a bus and a pickup truck in which at least five people from Laos were injured.

In late January, two Chinese nationals were killed and another wounded in a suspected bomb blast in Laos.

That incident occurred in the remote Xaysomboun region, which has been plagued by sporadic conflict between the government and ethnic Hmong militants for years.

It’s not uncommon for bandits to operate in the country’s countryside.

Chinese workers have increasingly come under attack as China’s firms expand operations abroad, often in politically unstable places.

In November, three executives from a Chinese state-run railway firm were killed when militants attacked a hotel in Mali, which highlighted China’s limited means to respond to threats abroad.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Nick Macfie

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