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Vietnam war: Forty years after the end of the US bombing campaign


Vietnam war: Forty years after the end of the US bombing campaign

Forty years ago, the US Congress voted to end the bombing campaign over Cambodia ending all direct military action in the Vietnam war, and the devastating effects continue to this day in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The cold-war era military conflict between the communist North and the US-backed South began in 1955 and finally ended in 1975.

In their effort to stop the spread of communism, the US sprayed 76 million litres of Agent Orange, a crop killing substance used to clear guerilla hideouts.The Vietnamese Red Cross estimates 150,000 children were born with birth defects as a result, and up to 3 million were exposed to it.

Many were maimed and killed by napalm bombs. Kim Phuc, became an icon of the effects of the incendiary weapon which she said can generate temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees celsius.

The US is said to have dropped more bombs during the conflict than during the Second World War, leaving the land littered with unexploded devices.

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