Lao, Russian military teams remove 158 UXO items in Khammuan

Lao and Russian soldiers examine the equipment used for UXO clearance in Khammuan province. - VT

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): Lao and Russian military personnel have cleared 158 UXO devices from 29.2 hectares of land in Nakai district, Khammuan province, after a one month operation jointly conducted by the two armies.

The UXO survey and clearance operation took place from Jan 17 to Feb 22, and land around the Chao Phetsarath monument, Nakai secondary school, and a site allocated for urban expansion have all been declared UXO free.

The joint UXO clearance programme is continuing in Nakai district, where specialists from the Lao and Russian armies have been removing unexploded munitions since last year.

The clearance operation is part of a plan drawn up between Laos’ Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, in which Russian army personnel are assisting Lao soldiers to remove explosive devices and provide training for soldiers in Nakai district.

The survey and clearance operation is taking place in four areas of the district over a total 56.326 hectares.

Since 2018, teams from the International Demining Centre of Russia’s defence forces have carried out UXO clearance in Borikhamxay and Xieng Khuang provinces, according to the Russian Embassy to Laos.

Hundreds of hectares of arable and other land have been restored to normal use, and more than 3,000 unexploded devices have been located and destroyed.

Russian demining teams have also run special classes for people in local communities to teach them what to do if they find any unexploded devices.

Unexploded munitions were also removed at Thong Hayhin airport by Lao and Russian military personnel, with the work taking place from December 2020 to March 2021.

The operation saw the removal of unexploded ordnance from 3.47 hectares of land at the airport, when 1,003 devices were located and detonated.

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Laos , Russia , UXO , Khammuan


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