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US holds inquiry into Israeli use of cluster bomb against Lebanon

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New York, Aug 26, IRNA

Israel-US-Cluster Bombs
Following the alarm sounded by the United Nations on Israeli use of US-made cluster bombs in its air raids on southern Lebanon, Washington held inquiry into the matter.

According to New York Times there was a growing emergency, saying cluster munitions were reaping a bloody toll among returning refugees.

The United Nations Mine Action Coordination Center in Tyre, Lebanon raised a new alarm this week over cluster bombs.

"Every day we hear about casualties -- it's a large number," said Dalya Farran, media officer for the center in southern Lebanon.

"We're in an emergency situation," she said.

Lebanese military figures put the toll from cluster bombs to 11 killed and 43 wounded, including several children, since the ceasefire began on August 14.

On Wednesday, three Lebanese bomb disposal experts were killed by a cluster bomb in the village of Tebnin, 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the Israeli border.

The New York Times said Washington would be investigating whether Israel had infringed secret rules which restrict where cluster bombs can be used.

The UN committee reported that it had confirmed 267 locations where cluster bombs struck in south Lebanon during Israel's aggression on Lebanon which started in July.

Assessment teams are racing against a tide of displaced people returning to stricken villages and new sites are being discovered each day.

At each impact zone, hundreds of tiny bomblets burst from the shells, creating a huge killing field of shrapnel.

But the UN estimates that a dangerously high percentage of these failed to explode, leaving their targets strewn with deadly sub-munitions.

New York-based Human Rights Watch military analyst Marc Garlasco said the bomblets sow 'minefields in peoples' homes'.

"There are kids playing with them and getting hurt, killed." Several houses near the southern city of Naqura had 'cluster bomb strike' sprayed across them in red spraypaint with arrows pointing to pock-marked walls or towards the ground where unexploded bomblets lay.

Some 100,000 leaflets and 10,000 posters have been distributed by the Lebanese army at checkpoints, and radio and television spots have aired warning about the dangers of live bombs in a massive public education campaign.

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