Wednesday, August 30, 2006

UN denounces Israel cluster bombs


The UN's humanitarian chief has accused Israel of "completely immoral" use of cluster bombs in Lebanon.
UN clearance experts had so far found 100,000 unexploded cluster bomblets at 359 separate sites, Jan Egeland said.

"Ninety per cent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution," he said.

Israel has previously said that munitions it uses in conflict comply with international law.

Earlier estimates from UN experts had suggested a total of about 100 cluster bomb sites.

Mr Egeland described the fresh statistics as "shocking new information".

"Cluster bombs have affected large areas - lots of homes, lots of farmland," Mr Egeland said.

He added: "They will be with us for many months, possibly years. Every day, people are maimed, wounded and killed by these weapons. It shouldn't have happened."

Mr Egeland said his information had come from the UN Mine Action Co-ordination Centre, which had undertaken assessments of nearly 85% of the bombed areas in Lebanon.

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