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3 Twin Cities men reported missing in Laos

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Three Laotian-Americans were reported missing in southern Laos after traveling there to attend a funeral.

Relatives say the Minnesotans went missing in early January in the Savannakhet province, the Associated Press reports.

Three bodies were recently discovered in a burned van in the province and one of the victims was identified as Souli Kongdaravong, who's assumed to be one of the missing by the news service.

The other men missing are Bounthieng Insixiengmai and Bounma Phannhotha.

The U.S. Embassy in the country has contacted the Lao government for more information.

According to a press release from the Center for Public Policy Analysis, concerns have been raised about a surge in political violence and ethnic and religious persecution in Laos following the arrest of an award-winning Laotian civic leader, Sombath Somphone, and the disappearance of the three men.

It's unclear exactly where the men live in Minnesota. The center only says they are from the Twin Cities area.

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