Sappers of the Dak Nong provincial Military Headquarters started clearing unexploded ordnances (UXO) left over from the war in over 22 ha in Thuan An commune, Dak Mil district on April 19.

The mine-clearance activity in the area, where on April 16, a war-era grenade exploded, killing two school students and leaving six others injured, is expected to take at least one month.

The provincial sappers have so far searched and removed dozens of tonnes of UXO scattered throughout the locality to make soil safe for the locals to live and farm.

They will continue with the work in high risk locations, including two airports in Gia Nghia town and Nhan Co commune, where the US and Saigon regime troops stationed prior to 1975.

At a press talk early this month on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action (April 4), Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Bui Hong Linh affirmed that the Vietnamese Party, State and Government always attach importance to overcoming UXO consequences.

According to statistics, during 1975-2000, UXO took the lives of 42,000 people and injured 62,000 others nationwide. Most victims were breadwinners and children.

About 600,000 tonnes of UXO still linger over an area of 66,000 square metres or 20 percent of the country’s total land.-VNA