Detonating a 2,000 Pound Vietnam War Bomb in Attapeu, Laos.

Detonating a 2,000 Pound Vietnam War Bomb in Attapeu, Laos.

Above Photo: Steam comes off the 2,000lb bomb after a controlled explosion along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, in Attapeu Province, Laos.

When I was down in Attapeu, Laos, I was given these remarkable photographs of the controlled C-4 detonation of a 2,000 lb bomb dropped by a US plane along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, by UXO Lao.

The aftermath of a C-4 detonation of the bomb next to a part of the old Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The aftermath of a C-4 detonation of the bomb next to a part of the old Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Attapeu was one of the most heavily bombed provinces in Laos during the Vietnam War because, at its southern end, the Ho Chi Minh Trail split into two, one trail turning right, heading into South Vietnam, and one trail continued south, into Cambodia, where it became known as the Sihanouk Trail. It then ran parallel to the Vietnamese border, and exited into South Vietnam, just north west of Saigon.

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That’s why Attapeu received an enormous amount of attention and ordnance during the war, and, every week, large bombs dropped from US war planes are discovered in the Laotian jungle and remote areas of Attapeu province.

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Nowadays it is the presence of cluster sub-munitions called ‘Bombies” that cause most deaths and injuries, as children can pick them up or farmers strike them, unseen, in the ground.

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Over 270 million bombies were dropped over Laos during the war, and UXO Lao estimate that EIGHTY MILLION still remain unexploded. Just finding them, let alone defusing them, will be a task that may never be completed, but they’re trying hard.

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Our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.

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See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. 

And for POWs left behind in Laos:

Approximate location of Attapeu Province, Laos, in red circle

Approximate location of Attapeu Province, Laos, in red circle

© Peter Alan Lloyd

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