B. Thao Phasavath
(KPL) Three big bombs, each weighing 250 lb, have been found over the past two weeks in Luang Prabang.
One was found and reported to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao) team in the province by villagers of Houay Lo in Pak-Ou district.Another two bombs were found and reported by construction companies while they were conducting road construction activities in Phone Ngarm and Kok Muang villages, Luang Prabang district.
The UXO Lao Luang Prabang Office removed all the bombs to a safe place for destruction.
In 2016, 3 big bombs were found in the northern province. A total of 100,434 unexploded ordnances (UXO) were found and destroyed across the country last year.
The Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao) is working in the nine most impacted provinces nationwide. UXO Lao clears land for agriculture and community purposes (e.g. schools, hospitals, temples and water supply) as well as other development activities.
Lao PDR has the unwanted distinction of being per capita the most heavily bombed nation in the world. Between 1964 and 1973, the United States flew more than half a million bombing missions, delivering more than two million tonnes of explosive ordnance, in an attempt to block the flow of North Vietnamese arms and troops through Lao territory.
The ordnance dropped included more than 266 million submunitions (known in Lao as “bombies”) released from cluster bombs.
Significant land battles, including those during the war for independence during the French colonial era and between the Pathet Lao and the Royal Lao forces, also contributed vast quantities of unexploded heavy bombs, rockets, grenades, artillery munitions, mortars, anti-personnel landmines, and improvised explosive devices.