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Two US cluster bombs removed in Quang Tri

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Two Exploded Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams from Peace Trees Vietnam have removed two cluster bombs in the central province of Quang Tri province, the teams' head Nguyen Van Cuong told Vietnam News on March 12.

The American bombs, discovered in Khe Sanh town, Huong Hoa district, each weighed 227kg and 114kg, respectively.

"The bombs' detonators have yet to be defused because they were buried nearly 3 metre underground,” Cuong said.

"These bombs are two of the heaviest we found. We have removed nine heavy bombs since last July." He said the bombs could blow up and destroy everything within 30 metres.

Cuong said the two teams, totalling 24 members, dug up and removed hundreds of unexploded ordnance (UXO) - bombs, grenade launchers, landmines and mortar shells - each day.

The teams have been working throughout the province to remove UXO, especially in remote mountainous areas such as Huong Hoa, Cam Lo, Gio Linh and Vinh Linh and Dakrong –former sites of battles and the Demilitarised Zone during the war.

Pham Thi Hoang Ha, of PeaceTrees Vietnam (PTVN), a non-government organisation that has been searching for UXO in Quang Tri since 1995, said EOD teams have found over 106,513 pieces of unexploded ordnances and cleared 163ha of land contaminated by landmines.

The PTVN's Danaan Parry Landmines Education Centre in Dong Ha has provided landmine awareness education to more than 65,000 people in Quang Tri, 17,500 of them are children.

Only 11 of the 3,500 villages in Quang Tri avoided being hit by bombs until the American War ended in 1975.

Vietnam was subjected to 15 million bombs, mines, artillery shells and other munitions. As much as 10 percent of these ordnances are estimated to have failed to explode.-VNA
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