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Middle east

Israel hands over Lebanon cluster-bomb maps

Latest update : 2009-05-13

Israel has given a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon details of where it dropped cluster bombs in its war with Hezbollah in 2006, Lebanon's prime minister has said. The bombs often do not explode on impact, but can do so later at the slightest touch.

AFP - Israel has given a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon details of where it dropped cluster bombs during its 34-day war with Hezbollah in 2006, Lebanon's prime minister said.
  
Prime Minister Fuad Siniora "received a phone call from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) commander General Claudio Graziano informing him that Israel had provided details of the locations of cluster bombs it dropped in south Lebanon during the 2006 war," according to a statement issued by his office late on Tuesday night.
  
The Lebanese army command will verify the accuracy of the data, the statement said.
  
The United Nations has since 2006 repeatedly appealed to Israel to provide maps showing the location of over one million cluster munitions dropped by the Jewish state during its devastating air war against Lebanon, around 40 percent of which failed to detonate on impact, according to the United Nations.
  
About 300 civilians have since been killed or maimed by cluster bombs, according to the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre, with children -- who mistake the bomblets for toys -- accounting for most of the victims.
  
In August 2006, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1701 calling for the full cessation of hostilities between Israel and the Shiite militant group and placed south Lebanon under the mandate of UNIFIL.
  
Siniora's statement added: "This initiative is the start of the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701, which Israel has delayed executing."
  
The war that summer destroyed much of Lebanon's major infrastructure and killed over 1,200 Lebanese, mainly civilians, and over 150 Israelis, mainly soldiers.
  
Cluster munitions spread bomblets over a wide area from a single device. The bomblets often do not explode on impact, but can do so later at the slightest touch, making them deadly as anti-personnel landmines.

Date created : 2009-05-13

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