China Joins Joint Patrols of Mekong River

Posted December 10th, 2011 at 12:45 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese officials say more than 200 armed police began joint Mekong River security patrols Saturday, with forces from Burma, Laos and Thailand.

The patrols are a response to the deaths of 13 Chinese sailors who were attacked on two cargo ships in early October along the Thai section of the river near the border with Burma. Sailors have long complained of armed gangs that loot their boats or demand cash.

Chinese media did not give details on the scale of the operations or how far south Chinese forces would go. The Mekong River flows through China's southwestern province of Yunnan into several Southeast Asian countries.