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Laos struggles with unexploded bombs 50 years after Paris Accords

Hidden dangers from another era hinder economic development

An unexploded cluster bomb dropped by the U.S. military half a century ago is unearthed in Kasi, northern Laos.

KASI, Laos -- Five decades have elapsed since the signing of the Paris Peace Accords on Jan. 27, 1973 that led to the end of the Vietnam War. The long conflict devastated all of Indochina, and its aftermath continues to stymie the region's economic development.

Early this month, specialists of the Laotian military detected unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the northern town of Kasi. The team of about 10 found one cluster bomb the size of a tennis ball and used a loudspeaker to warn residents while cordoning off nearby roads before disposing of the device.

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