RealNews

30-year-old bombs still very deadly in Laos

With their parents working in the rice paddies and nothing much to do in the village, 7-year-old Dam Somphone and his two friends decided to go into the forest to look for a bomb. It didn’t take long to find one. Savannakhet is the most heavily bombed province in one of the most heavily bombed countries in the history of warfare. About 150 yards into the jungle, the boys spotted an unexploded bomblet from a U.S. cluster bomb dropped here during the Vietnam War. Dam was happy. He wanted to see something go boom. He picked up the bomblet, which was the size of a tennis ball, and carried it back to the village. His friends ran away, but Dam was fearless. He hurled the BLU-63 bomblet against a board. When nothing happened, he picked it up and threw it again. This time, the bomblet detonated, sending dozens of metal fragments flying in all directions. They slashed into Dam’s face, his shoulder, his knee and his abdomen, slicing his liver and small intestine. Full Story

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