Vang Pao, Hmong guerrilla leader in Laos, has died - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Vang Pao, Hmong guerrilla leader in Laos, has died

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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Vang Pao, a former general in the Royal Army of Laos who led thousands of Hmong guerrillas in a CIA-backed secret army during the Vietnam War, has died. He was 81.

After immigrating to the United States once the communists seized power in Laos in 1975, Vang Pao was venerated as a leader by the Hmong refugee populations who resettled in California's Central Valley, Minneapolis and cities throughout Wisconsin.

Vang Pao died Thursday after being hospitalized for about 10 days, said Michelle Von Tersch, a spokeswoman for Clovis Community Medical Center.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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