Seven killed, 43 injured in unexploded ordnance accidents in Laos

by IANS |

Seven killed, 43 injured in unexploded ordnance accidents in Laos Vientiane, July 3 (IANS) Seven people were killed and 43 others injured in unexploded ordnance (UXO)-related accidents during past six months, with most of the accidents occurring while children were playing with these devices or farmers were digging. From January to June, over 33,500 UXO devices have been cleared from 2,543 hectares of land, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the Lao National Regulatory Authority for the UXO/Mine Action Sector, reported Xinhua news agency. A total of 1,425 explosive ordnance risk education sessions were organised in 472 villages, with 153,663 people attending. Twenty UXO-related accidents were reported, involving 43 victims. In addition, assistance was provided to 1,832 victims of UXO-related accidents. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world in terms of per capita. Throughout 1964-1973, over 2 million tons of ordnance were dropped on Laos, of which 30 per cent failed to explode. Over 270 million cluster munitions were dropped from US warplanes, leaving an estimated 80 million live bomblets scattered and buried around the Southeast Asian country. --IANS int/rs/svn

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