|The bomb is moved by a demining team of Peace Trees Vietnam. — Photo dantri.com.vn|Viet Nam News
QUẢNG TRỊ — An unexploded bomb was discovered this morning in the area bordering Laos in central Quảng Trị Province.
Local residents found the bomb near the edge of the Sê Băng Hiêng River in Hướng Lập Commune, Hướng Hóa District, after a downpour caused land erosion.
They informed the province-based mobile demining team of Peace Trees Vietnam, a humanitarian organisation working for the safe clearance of unexploded bombs and mines in the province.
The team later safely moved the bomb to another location where it would be destroyed by an explosion.
The bomb type is said to be MK 82-500LB. It is 2.17m long, weighs 227kg and has a diameter of 30cm.
It is believed to have been dropped by US forces during Việt Nam’s resistance war against the Americans. At that time, Sê Băng Hiêng was an important location lying on the 17th parallel -- the military demarcation line established by the Geneva Accord in 1954, which temporarily divided North and South Việt Nam.
The area suffered from heavy bombardment by US forces during the war to prevent support from the Northern military to forces at the Khe Sanh battleground in Hướng Hóa District.
Quảng Trị Province is among the localities that suffered the most in the aftermath of the war, with more than 390,000ha of land, or 82 per cent of the province’s total area, getting contaminated with unexploded ordnance. According to the province’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, since the end of the war in 1975, bomb and mine accidents have killed and injured some 8,500 people, 31 per cent of whom were children. — VNS