5 killed by explosives left over from the Vietnam War

HANOI, Vietnam: Five people, including three children, died in central Vietnam when 30-year-old unexploded ordnance left behind from the Vietnam War exploded, police and state media reported Friday.

Three boys, aged 12 to 14, were killed in an explosion Thursday in the Hai Lang district of Quang Tri province, said a district police officer who identified himself only as Binh.

The boys discovered four unexploded bombs in bushes while looking after water buffaloes and the explosives went off when they examined them, he said.

Authorities suspect that farmers may have found the bombs while plowing their rice fields and put them in the bushes.

The area was a communist stronghold during the war and was heavily bombarded.

On Tuesday, two men aged 19 and 31 were killed in the central highlands province of Kon Tum when an artillery shell they were cutting up for scrap metal exploded, Friday’s Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

The explosion also left the wife of the 19-year-old man seriously injured, the report said.

About 38,000 people have been killed by unexploded ordnance since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, according to government figures.

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/07/11/asia/AS-Vietnam-War-Leftovers.php

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