Unexploded Ordnance: The Deadly Menace of UXO in Laos.
The below is an outstanding collection of Associated Press photos, containing some poignant images of the legacy of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) from the wartime bombing of Laos.
I have also seen the cause (bombs) and effect (injuries) on my many BACK-related research trips into the Laotian jungle and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Manixia Thor and Thoummy Silamphan are visiting Portland as part of the Legacies of War “Voices from Laos” speaking tour, about the legacy of unexploded bombs in Laos.
What appears to be fish ponds from the air is actually bomb craters filled with water as seen from a helicopter Sunday May 25, 1997, near the northeastern Laotian village of Sam Neau. There are currently 455 Americans still missing in action from the Laotian theater of the Vietnam War, and teams have been working systematically from the Pathet Lao caves in the north all the way down to the Ho Chi Minh trail in the south. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
Beside a snaking, narrow mountain road in the northeastern Laotian province of Houaphan, a youg girl uses a cluster bomb casing to bathe Tuesday May 27, 1997. While most southeast Asia nations are looking forward to the 21st century, Laos is struggling to enter the 20th and is amoung one of the 10 poorest nations in the world. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
A young boy holds a lantern fashioned from a bomblet, part of a cluster bomb dropped by the United States Air Force more than two decades ago during the Vietnam War in Savannakhet privince, southern Laos, on Saturday, March 10, 1997. Dangerous unexploded ordinace still can be found all over Laos. (AP Photo/Linda Ehrichs)
A hilltribe girl stands by a poster Friday, May 3, 1996, warning children to stay away from some 5,000 U.S.-dropped bomblets still strewn around this northern Laos village from the Indochina War. Twenty-three years after the U.S. air war on Laos ended, Washington has promised assistance in ridding the country of millions of unexploded bombs and bomblets that continue to kill and maim Lao civilians. (AP Photo/Denis Gray)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks at a memorial to cluster bombing during a tour of the Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) Center in Vientiane, Laos, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. COPE helps victims of Vietnam War era exploded bombs and others with treatment and rehabilitation. (AP Photo/Brendon Smialowski, Pool)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watches a map which displays locations of bombing sites during Vietnam War, on her tour at the Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise Center (COPE), in Vientiane, Laos, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. COPE provides free prosthetics to those who need them including the victims of blasts of unexploded Vietnam War era ordnance, (AP Photo/Brendon Smialowski, Pool)
Xay, 19, recovers in a hospital in Phongsavan Saturday, May 4, 1996 after being burned by a U.S. made white phosphorus shell he and a friend opened near their village in northern Laos. The United Nations estimates that tens of thousands of Laotians have been killed and injured since the war ended in 1975 from milllions of unexploded bombs. (AP Photo/Denis Gray)
A Laotian technician prods the ground in Nong Pet Junction, Laos, in search of bomblets and other explosive devices left undetonated from the Indochina War, in this May 3, 1996 file photo. During the Vietnam War, the United States bombed Laos for a decade in an effort to cut off North Vietnamese supply lines. Though the war ended 30 years ago, the carnage from those bombings continues. Up to 30 percent of the bombs failed to explode, lying in wait as “de facto anti-personnel mines,” according to a Human Rights Watch report. The bombs have killed roughly 6,000 Laotians since the end of fighting. (AP Photo/Denis Gray, File)
Stooped over in a slashed and burned hillside yet to be cleared of cluster bombs, Na Mong Tong plants maize by hand near Sam Neua, Laos on May 26, 1997. Laos is one of the 10 poorest nations in the world and survives mainly on subsitence farming. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
An unidentified Laotian explosives clearance technician uses a metal detector to hunt for cluster bombs Wednesday, May 28, 1997, near the village of Sam Neua, Laos, in the northeastern province of Houaphan. Houaphan was the headquarters of the communist Pathet Lao revolutionaries during the Vietnam War. More bombs were dropped on Laos than on Germany in World War II. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
Two Laotian boys play with their ball in a front yard near collected bomb canisters in Xiangkhouang, Laos in this Nov. 11, 1997 file photo. During the Vietnam War, the United States bombed Laos for a decade in an effort to cut off North Vietnamese supply lines. Though the war ended 30 years ago, the carnage from those bombings continues. Up to 30 percent of the bombs failed to explode, lying in wait as “de facto anti-personnel mines,” according to a Human Rights Watch report. The bombs have killed roughly 6,000 Laotians since the end of fighting. (AP Photo /Thaksina Khaikaew, File)
U.S. Navy armorers wheel out 500-pound bombs for the wing racks of jets being used in support for South Vietnamese troops fighting the enemy in Laos on March 18, 1971. Planes of the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk are stationed off Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. (AP Photo/Rick Merron)
Smoke billows from bomb blasts along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos on Feb. 11, 1971 as U.S. bombers pounded the area while supporting South Vietnamese troops engaging the North Vietnamese there. (AP Photo)
Laotian army convoy loaded with cluster bombs for armoured car escort 45 miles North of Vientiane Nov. 2, 1972. Convoy was en route to CIA logistics base at Van Vieng which is readying for communist attack. (AP Photo/POL)
Even a quiet afternoon stroll by this Laotian soldier and his children is disturbed by the almost constant reminders of the wars ravaging the countries of Indochina. This family portrait was taken at the Long Chen base in Laos Oct. 8, 1972, where Royal Lao air force planes use the bombs, at right, against troops occupying parts of that country. (AP Photo/Laurent)
Phongsavath Souliyalat, who lost his forearms and sight from blasts of an unexploded bomb, waits to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise Center (COPE), in Vientiane, Laos, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. COPE provides free prosthetics to those who need them including the victims of blasts of unexploded Vietnam War era ordnance, (AP Photo/Brendon Smialowski, Pool)
See the trailer for 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.
For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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