Bomb cache cleared in Vietnam War battlefield

TN News

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Some of the 619 American bombs unearthed at a site in Quang Tri Province

Soldiers in the central province of Quang Tri said Tuesday they have cleared a cache of 619 unexploded bombs and shells left behind from the Vietnam War.

The ordnance included 500 shells that still had fuses.

They were found within six square meters and two meters under the ground, news website Dan Tri reported.

A local man had found three shells at the site in Khe Sanh town, Huong Hoa District, last week and reported to authorities.

The town is known for the Battle of Khe Sanh between January and July 1968 when more than 100,000 tons of bombs, equivalent in destructive force to five Hiroshima-size atomic bombs, were dropped by the US.

On March 12 soldiers in the province had deactivated two bombs weighing nearly 400 kilograms found by a local scrap collector.

Nguyen Van Cuong, head of a provincial team in charge of detecting and defusing war bombs, said they would work hard to make the area safe for locals.

Unexploded ordnance (UXOs) are a threat in more than one-fifth of Vietnam's total area, or 6.6 million hectares.

The nation has been spending around US$100 million a year clearing UXOs, but only 300,000 hectares of land have been demined.

UXOs killed 40,000 people and injured 60,000 others in the country between 1975 and 2000, with numerous deaths and injuries also occurring since.

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