From the UN: Over the past few weeks we have received reports of a couple of armed robberies. Incident 1. On 21 Jan 2012 at 22:15 in front of a Korean Restaurant near That Luang a group of people (mixed Lao and foreigners) were intercepted by an armed perpetrator. He attempted to snatch the bag from one of the ladies in the group. As she wasn’t facing the perpetrator, she initially thought that one of her friends was joking and pulled back at the bag while turning around towards the perpetrator. Faced with resistance, the perpetrator pointed a handgun at her and demanded the bag be released. Simultaneously, another perpetrator, who was waiting on a motorcycle nearby, pulled a handgun and shot into the air. They took the bag and left the scene of the incident riding on a motorcycle towards the direction of Patuxai. Incident 2. On 31 Jan 2012 at 23:30 in front of a local restaurant within close proximity of the first incident, three men on a motorcycle intercepted a group of people leaving the restaurant. They demanded a bag from one of the ladies, who initially resisted but gave it away after one of the perpetrators shot from his handgun into the ground. After they collected money and bags from the remainder of the group they left the scene riding on a motorcycle. In both incidents perpetrators wore helmets concealing their faces and were riding the same motorcycle. Lao Police suspect that the same group executed both incidents and has deployed a patrol team in the area. With regard to above incidents we would like to advise the following; 1. Until further notice, avoid dining in the area highlighted red on the map attached; 2. Be aware of your surroundings; 3. Avoid carrying bags and backpacks when going out during evening hours; 4. When attending social events in the evening, carry only essential items with you, avoid keeping excessive amount of cash, passports and credit cards with you; 5. If with your vehicle, always park your car in a well lit area; 6. Keep emergency contact card separate from your wallet and money, so you can contact us if targeted; 7. If confronted by the perpetrators: cooperate, don’t resist. Try to remember all details of the incident.