Magazine

Sep 7, 2016

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos

From 1964 to 1973, U.S. warplanes dropped more than 270 million cluster munitions on Laos, one-third of which did not explode, part of a CIA-run, secret operation aimed at destroying the North Vietnamese supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh trail and wiping out its communist allies -- leaving a trail of devastation in Laos.

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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Toui Bounmy Sidavong, 43, holds a bomb dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in the village of Ban Napia in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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Public workers play petanque in a courtyard used as a deposit of bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in Xieng Khouang, Laos September 1, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A man makes spoons by melting the bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in the village of Ban Napia in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A bomb dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War is used to grow plants in the village of Ban Napia in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A girl poses at an entrance of her house next to a bomb dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in the village of Ban Napia in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A woman poses at an entrance of her house next to bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in the village of Ban Napia in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A courtyard is used as a deposit of bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War in Xieng Khouang, Laos September 1, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A crater created by a bomb dropped by the U.S. Air Force plane during the Vietnam War, is seen in Xieng Khouang, Laos September 1, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A technician from the NGO Mines Advisory Group (MAG) works in a field searching for unexploded bombs that were dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, at Phaxay district in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 2, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A technician from the NGO Mines Advisory Group (MAG) pauses in a field while searching for unexploded bombs that were dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 2, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A man walks past a house standing on bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in the village of Ban Napia in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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Mr. Soud, 40, who was injured by an unexploded bomb dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War when he was 10 years old, sits in his house in the village of Kakho in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A label is seen on a bomb dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in the village of Ban Napia in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A boy stands in front of a house built on bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in the village of Ban Napia in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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A Buddhist monk poses next to unexploded bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in Xieng Khouang in Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Lethal legacy of U.S. secret war in Laos
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Kek, 28, who was injured five years ago, while digging for metal to sell, by an unexploded bomb dropped by U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, poses in his house in the village of Kakho in Xieng Khouang province, Laos September 3, 2016. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

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