War-era grenades, bullets discovered in central Vietnam

TN News

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Eighty-five grenades and a dozen of handgun bullets believed to date back to the Vietnam War were unearthed during the construction of a house on March 14 in the central province of Phu Yen .

The unexploded ordnances (UXOs) were found by workers as they were digging to build the foundation of a house in Tuy Hoa Town on Thursday, VnExpress reported Friday.

Quoc, one of the workers, said in the online newspaper that he discovered one of the grenades nearly one meter underground.

He and the other workers then searched through the soil they had excavated and found seven more grenades which they had unearthed unknowingly, Quoc said.

Following the discovery, the Phu Yen military command sent its Engineer Corps to explore the entire construction site and found more. All the ordnances have been relocated to a special site to be defused at a later date, the news report said.

Colonel Le Tan My, who led the mission, was quoted as saying that the rusted made-in-US grenades, weighing some 450 grams each, could have exploded if struck hard.

It was the first time war-era grenades, bullets and explosives were found in such a big number in Tuy Hoa, My added.

The owner of the house told VnExpress that he and his family have stayed there for tens of years and recently decided to rebuild it.

UXOs left behind from the Vietnam War remain spread out across 6.6 million hectares of land, or more than a fifth of the country's total area, according to official figures.

Only 300,000 hectares have been cleared so far.

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

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