Unexploded Ordnance in Iraq

On the Hunt for Bombs with U.S. Army Demolition Experts

U.S. Army Sgt. Scott Weimer

U.S. Army Sgt. Scott Weimer stands in front of a house formerly used by the Iraqi army to store artillery shells and propellant. "UXO" is military shorthand for unexploded ordnance. Tom Bullock, NPR News hide caption

itoggle caption Tom Bullock, NPR News

The war in Iraq may be over, but the weapons left behind continue to kill. Iraqi army weapons hidden in homes and public buildings are causing American bomb squads the most problems.

Scores of badly injured children turn up daily in Iraq's hospitals after playing with shells, bombs and other explosives left behind. And it's not just Iraqi weapons — U.S. cluster bombs are also a problem. The controversial bombs spray dozens of smaller "bomblets" on enemy positions, and not all the bomblets explode.

NPR's Nick Spicer recently spent a day with a team of U.S. Army explosive ordnance disposal experts, who search for Iraqi bombs, shells and other weapons left behind when Iraqi resistance evaporated.

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