Pentagon Vietnam war bombs still killing thousands of Laos people


This video says about itself:

US Cluster Bomb Legacy Costing Lives In Laos

4 August 2014

The Legacy: The Vietnam war‘s dark legacy is still costing lives in Laos. Meet the brave women trying to clear the bomb fields.

Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world. In the Vietnam War the US dropped 2 million tonnes of explosives there. Now, a brave band of women are finding and destroying the ‘bombies’ left behind.

The women walk slowly through the undergrowth, scanning the ground with metal detectors. Given there are up to 80 million unexploded munitions in Laos the women are doing a job that will take more than a lifetime to complete. “I was excited as well as frightened”, says 46-year-old Phou Vong, recalling the first time she found a ‘bombie’. “I hesitated a bit, but thought I should be glad to see it, because in a sense I was helping my people.”

Phou joined the team 3 years ago, after her husband was killed in a road accident. “There was no-one to help me but myself, and I had no money to support my children’s education.” She now earns $250 a month, that’s better than the average wage in Laos. It’s a special empowerment programme to give much-needed opportunities to local women. But the de-miners are worried their funding will run out. “We won’t be able to clear them all, there are just so many of them.” More than four decades after the American campaign ended, undetonated explosives still contaminate forests and fields. And it’s Lao civilians who are risking their lives to clean them up.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In the Asian country Laos millions of balls are scattered throughout the country. They look a bit like tennis balls. So, children pick them up to play with, until the balls explode suddenly.

The balls are remnants of cluster bombs which the US American air force has thrown over the country during the Vietnam War. Between 1964 and 1973, the US threw two billion kilos of bombs – more than half of the total number of bombs dropped during World War II. …

Some 80 million of these US bombs have not exploded and are still somewhere in the country. The Laotians have been working for forty years to make them harmless, but only 1 percent of the bombs have been cleared so far.

The unexploded cluster bombs have so far claimed about 20,000 lives. Most victims are children, who mistook the bombs for toys.

Take a look at a map of the millions of bombs still left to be cleared. [Reuters]

One thought on “Pentagon Vietnam war bombs still killing thousands of Laos people

  1. Pingback: Facebook whitewashes Vietnam war atrocities | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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