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The Secret War, Laos

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Laos - Three bombs found by a villager are waiting to be destroyed by the UXO Laos squad.<br />
Between 1964 and 1973, the US dropped two million tons of ordnance on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions. One third failed to explode, littering Laos with 80 million unexploded bombs. Forty years after the end of the war, only one percent of them has been destroyed. Since the end of the war, 20,000 people have been killed or injured in Laos in UXO-related accidents. Sixty percent of them resulted in death and 40 percent of the victims are children. The most common injuries involve limb amputations, blindness and shrapnel wounds.Approximately 10,000 villages (25 percent of Laos territory) are contaminated by UXO, most of them cluster bombs. More than half of all the cluster munitions casualties in the world occurred in Laos. Ninety-eight percent of the victims were civilians.Since 1973, an average of 300 people per year have been killed by UXO in Laos. Most of them are poor farmers who don't have other choice but to work on their contaminated fields in order to feed their families. The US bombing campaign wiped out thousands of villages, displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians.