Unexploded ordnance left behind from the Vietnam War remains on a fifth of the Vietnamese landmass and explodes every day, its Deputy Minister of Defence said at a conference Thursday.
Nguyen Chi Vinh told defense officials from other ASEAN countries and bloc partners that Vietnam still suffers from “severe consequences” 40 years after the war ended.
Exploding war-era ordinance kills more than 1,500 people and injures 2,200 in the country every year, Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted Vinh as saying.
Official data show that buried bombs have killed at least 40,000 people since the war and injured 60,000, many in the central province of Quang Tri, which was a main American military base at the peak of the Vietnam War and a principal battleground during the 1968 Tet Offensive.
Explosions usually occur when poor people try to saw a bomb open to resell the explosive inside or when someone working their fields hit one.
He said Vietnam has completed a UXO map and would publish it soon.