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Pictures | Wed Nov 7, 2012 | 6:37am EST

Laos holds groundbreaking ceremony for contentious Mekong dam

A fisherman casts his net in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A fisherman casts his net in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries...more

A fisherman casts his net in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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Locals manoeuvre their small vessels along the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Locals manoeuvre their small vessels along the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring...more

Locals manoeuvre their small vessels along the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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A man washes cattle in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A man washes cattle in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because...more

A man washes cattle in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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A fisherman casts his net in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A fisherman casts his net in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries...more

A fisherman casts his net in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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A man washes a cow in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A man washes a cow in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of...more

A man washes a cow in the Mekong river in Phnom Penh November 7, 2012. Laos held a "groundbreaking" ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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