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Quang Tri: 150 UXO pieces defused

The UK’s Mines Advisory Group (MAG) operating in the central province of Quang Tri said on December 10 that it had discovered and defused 150 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO).

The UXO pieces were found in an underground pit by MAG staff members on December 9. They included mortar shells, grenades and detonators.

The MAG is registered as a charitable company in the UK. It is a humanitarian and advocacy organisation that finds, removes and destroys landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded bombs from places affected by conflict.

More than 328,000 tonnes of explosives were used in Quang Tri town in 1972 during the war against the US. The MAG’s unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance project in the province began in 1999.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Vietnam is one of countries most contaminated with UXOs.
It is estimated that about 800,000 tonnes of UXOs were left across the country after the war ended in 1975, mostly in the central region. Some 6.13 million hectares of land are polluted with or suspected of being polluted with UXOs, accounting for 18.82 percent of the country’s total area.

Since 1975, UXO incidents have killed more than 40,000 people and injured 60,000 others, most of whom were breadwinners of their families or children./