Cargo Ships Attacked on the Mekong River
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On January 4th, four Chinese cargo ships and a Burmese patrol boat were attacked on the Mekong River. Three of the ships were cargo vessels and one was an oil tanker. The unknown rebel group threw grenades at the ships near a Burmese port. The attack happened in the early morning and no injuries, casualties, or damage to the ships was reported. The cause of the attacks is unclear, but this attack comes less than three months after 13 Chinese sailors were slaughtered on the Mekong River. This incident caused the river to be shut down to international shipping until early December. Border police from China, Thailand, Laos, and Burma have been patrolling the river in hopes of deterring attacks. The Mekong River is the largest river in Southeast Asia and a major trading route for China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Ships on the Mekong have transported $4.8 billion of imports and exports since 2001.