Workers hit bombs, bullets while building school in southern Vietnam

By Tran Thanh Phong, Thanh Nien News

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Workers in  the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu have stopped building a primary school after stumbling upon a buried cache of war-era munitions.
Nguyen Van Vinh, head of the Project Management Department of Gia Rai District, said Wednesday that they have asked the province’s military to clear the area before resuming work.
A source from the Bac Lieu Military Command said they have collected a directional mine, numerous rifle bullets, and an 82-mm mortar round.
The officer said it would take them at least another week to finish clearing the nearly 6,700 square meter site.
Vinh said the land previously hosted the office of Gia Rai Town.
As such, everyone assumed it had been cleared--until the bulldozers came in.
Vinh said the US-backed southern regime used the site as an artillery base during the Vietnam War.
Unexploded ordnance (UXO) have killed four people and injured six others every day since the Vietnam War ended in 1975, according to official figures.
According to the government, Vietnam needs US$10 billion to remove an estimated 800,000 tons of UXO, a job that could only be completed in 300 years at the current pace.
That figure does not include the billions more required to resettle communities in affected areas and provide social welfare support to the wounded. 

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