226-kg bomb found under river in central Vietnam

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Soldiers retrieve a 500-pound war-era bomb from under a river in the central province of Nghe An on December 18

An army unit in the central province of Nghe An has deactivated a 226-kilogram bomb found at more than two meters under water in a local river, online newspaper Dan Tri reported Tuesday.

Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Nguyen Huu Giai, head of the Thanh Chuong District Military Headquarters, was quoted as saying that the bomb was defused the same day.

Locals had found it buried in mud under the Ro River in Vo Liet Commune two days earlier, Giai said, adding that it was some 1.6 meters long and 30 centimeters across.

The bomb must have been dropped by the Americans between 1968 and 1972, he said, adding it was the fifth bomb to have been found in the area since 2008.

Around 6.6 million hectares of land, or more than a fifth of Vietnam's total area, were feared to have unexploded ordnance left behind from the war, according to official figures.

Only 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres) have been cleared so far.

Experts estimate it will take hundreds of years and billions of dollars to completely clear Vietnam of leftover bombs, shells, and mines.

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