Hundreds of war-era UXOs found in central Vietnam

TN News

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A total of 114 unexploded war-era bombs, mortar and artillery shells, and landmines were found near a garbage dump in Lao Bao Town in the central province of Quang Tri, Vietnam News Agency reported Monday.

Acting on tip-offs from a local resident, a provincial mobile bomb and landmine disposal team removed the unexploded ordnances (UXOs) at around 10:30 a.m. on Monday. More than half of the ordnances had intact fuses, while the others had defused detonators.

Local authorities said these bombs, shells and landmines were left behind by the US military after Vietnam War ended in 1975.

Scrap collectors were unable to sell them due to the fact that they still had fuses and the potential to explode, so they discarded them near the dump.

The bomb disposal team had removed another 651 bombs and shells left at a site 200 meters far from this place on March 5.

Approximately 30,000 bombs, shells of different types detected in Huong Hoa District (where Lao Bao Town situates) have been defused and demolished so far this year by the team and given more than 35,000 square meters of decontaminated land to locals for cultivation and production, according to Vietnam News Agency.

About 6.6 million hectares or more than a fifth of Vietnam's land, remains affected by the presence of wartime UXOs, according to official figures, but only 300,000 hectares have been cleared so far.

Experts estimate it will take Vietnam hundreds of years and billions of dollars to completely rid itself of leftover bombs, shells, and landmines.

Since 1975, UXOs have claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in Vietnam, injuring more than 60,000, and most of victims were either the major breadwinners of families or children, official figures showed.  

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