How does this rise in the use of IED’s compare to the millions of unexploded bombs in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam left behind by the United States after the Vietnam War?
Legacies of War.org says that “At least 20,000 people have been killed or injured by unexploded ordnance in Laos since the Vietnam War-era bombings ended.”
Or do we not count left-over bombs that became IED’s of a different nature that still kill noncombatants decades after a war ends?
Quick facts from Legacies of War.org:
• At least 20,000 people have been killed or injured by unexploded ordnance in Laos since the Vietnam War-era bombings ended.
• About one third of the land in Laos is contaminated with unexploded ordnance.
• Many cluster bomblets became buried in the earth – waiting for an unsuspecting farmer to place a shovel in the earth or the monsoon rains to uncover them.
• Many farmers in Laos know their land is contaminated but can’t afford another plot. They simply have no choice but to cultivate their land.
• The most common injuries victims sustain from a UXO explosion include loss of a limb, blindness, hearing loss, shrapnel wounds, and internal shock wave injuries.
• Over the past four decades, only 500,000 of the estimated 80 million cluster munitions that failed to detonate have been cleared.