Vietnam repatriates remains of three US soldiers at Da Nang airport

By Vu Hoang   April 2, 2017 | 09:02 pm PT
It marked the 140th handover of missing American soldiers' remains since 1973.

Vietnam repatriated Sunday remains believed to be of those of U.S. soldiers who died during the Vietnam War, the first such event so far this year, the Vietnamese government said. 

At a ceremony in Da Nang International Airport, Vietnam handed over boxes containing three sets of remains, which were submitted by local people and also found by a Vietnam-U.S. team during their 126th joint search between February and April of 2017, the government said in a statement. 

The remains have been examined by Vietnamese and American forensic specialists, who concluded they might belong to U.S. servicemen who went missing during the war, and recommended them to be brought back to Hawaii for further review, the statement said.

It did not name the locations where the remains were found, but said the ceremony marked the 140th handover of missing American soldiers' remains since 1973.

The previous repatriation was held in December 2016 in Hanoi, at which four sets of remains were transferred following search in the north and central regions late last year.

A total of 715 sets of American remains have been repatriated from Vietnam as of March 29, while there are 1,257 U.S. soldiers who remained unaccounted for in the country, based on a report by the U.S.'s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. The report did not include the three from the Sunday repatriation.

More than 3,000,000 Vietnamese soldiers and civilians, and 58,000 US troops died during the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975.

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