Cluster bombs claim another victim in South Lebanon

June 13th, 2008 | Posted in Cluster Munitions, Lebanon, Corporate Media, Politics
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    Daily Star. Friday, June 13th, 2008

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Photo: Armand Emamdjomeh. Village in south Lebanon after Israel’s 2006 attack.

Tyre: A Lebanese man was killed on Thursday by a cluster bomb dropped by Israeli forces during the 2006 war in Lebanon, a police official said.

Hisham al-Ghossein, 39, was killed in the village of Qantara, near the Southern town of Marjayoun, after stepping on the bomb while working in his field, the official said.

The munitions dropped by Israel during its devastating air war against Lebanon in July-August 2006 included at least a million cluster bomblets, according to the United Nations.

Unexploded ordnance has killed or injured 257 people since the conflict ended in August 2006, according to the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (MACC). Of those killed, at least 30 were civilians.

Cluster munitions spread bomblets over a wide area, though they often do not explode on impact, effectively turning them into anti-personnel land mines.

MACC said that 43 percent of the land affected by the munitions has been cleared since the end of the 2006 war.

After more than a year of negotiations, diplomats from 109 countries agreed at Dublin in late May on a treaty that would outlaw the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions, which have killed and injured thousands of civilians over the last four decades.

Twenty-eight countries are known to manufacture cluster munitions, some 14 have deployed them in conflicts and at least 76 countries have stockpiles of the weapons.

Six of the world’s leading users and producers – Russia, China, the United States, Israel, India and Pakistan – did not attend the conference.

Human rights groups complained Washington had been pressuring its allies and lobbying hard behind the scenes to weaken any deal.

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