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Fears for 'detained' Laos development campaigner

Published on Dec 19, 2012 1:25 PM

BANGKOK (AFP) - Police in Laos have detained a prominent development campaigner, a source close to the activist said on Wednesday, as the United States voiced concern for his welfare.

Footage from closed circuit cameras revealed that Mr Sombath Somphone, who went missing on Saturday in Vientiane, "was taken away by plainclothes policemen", according to a person familiar with the case who asked not to be named.

It was unclear why he was detained. Laos officials were not immediately available to comment.

The United States on Tuesday said diplomatic and aid agency representatives had been in contact with Mr Sombath's wife, adding that it had "concerns for his well-being and safety".

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