SOLOMON ISLANDS WANTS WORLD WAR II WRECKAGE CLEANUP

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UNITED NATIONS, New York (October 8, 1997 - Radio Australia)---The Solomon Islands has asked countries that waged war there more than 50 years ago to help clear its land and sea of World War II wreckage.

The request was made by Foreign Minister Patteson Oti at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week.

He said the deadly legacy of the war continues to haunt Solomon Islanders and Guadalcanal, Savo Island, Iron Bottom Sound and other infamous Pacific War battlegrounds.

Oti said more than 100 ships laden with fuel and unexploded munitions rest on Solomon Islands shores and at the bottom of channels.

He told the UN the cost of cleaning up the wrecks could exceed $1 million, but a thorough technical and financial assessment of the problem still is needed.

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