500 war-era bombs unearthed in central Vietnam

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Members of a bomb detection team in the central province of Quang Tri retrieve bombs from two war-era underground stores found on Monday

Hundreds of bombs have been unearthed from two underground war-era stores discovered in the central province of Quang Tri on Monday.

The stores were found by locals as they gardened in Khe Sanh Town, Huong Hoa District.

A provincial bomb detection team cooperated with local agencies to unearth and retrieve nearly 50 bombs during first five hours.

The number of bombs and explosive bullets reached more than 500, as of Tuesday afternoon, a report on Tuoi Tre said.

Nguyen Van Cuong, chief of the bomb detection team, said an exact tally had yet to be taken, but estimated that each store held at least 400 bombs.

It was expected that full excavation work would take a few days to complete.

Around 6.6 million hectares of land, or more than a fifth of Vietnam's total area, are contaminated by unexploded ordnance left behind from the Vietnam 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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