Saturday, December 13, 2003

Following on from the Human Rights Watch report on cluster bombs,....USA Today has also been investigating the weapons.

The paper says that "A four-month examination by USA TODAY of how cluster bombs were used in the Iraq war found dozens of deaths that were unintended but predictable."

As I've explained before, cluster bombs are unpleasant weapons but some groups within the humanitarian community -- including MAG -- warn against focusing too much on cluster munitions because they're a small part of a much wider problem. The vast majority of casualties in Iraq and elsewhere, they say, have been caused by landmines and abandoned bomb and ammunition dumps -- not by cluster bombs.

In addition, MAG says that areas that have been cluster bombed can be cleared quickly and relatively easily -- unlike areas where landmines have been laid.

The conclusion -- Cluster bombs are bad, but landmines are much, much worse.


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