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Around 40 fall victim to UXO accidents a year

Every year around 40 Lao people fall victim to unexploded ordnance (UXO) left since the end of Indochina war (1964-1973).

“During the war, the United States operated more than 580,000 bomber flights dropping nearly 3 million tons of bombs (about 270 million bombs) over the country,” said Lt. Col. Khonekeo Oradom, Chief of Military Staff, Bomb Clearance Unit.

Thirty percent of the bombs failed to detonate on impact and they are scattered across the country. More than 50,000 people have been injured and killed by UXO accidents since the end of the war.

Xieng Khuang, Savannakhet and Saravan are the most contaminated by UXOs. UXOs are also found in Vientiane’s Sangthong and Pak Ngum districts.The government is focusing its UXO clearance efforts on agricultural areas, especially in Khamkeut district, Borikhamxay Province, and some areas of Vientiane Province, to ensure farmers can engage in agricultural activities without harms from UXOs.

Source: Lao News Agency