But They Told Us This Was All Surgical Strikes!
More than 1,000 civilians were killed or wounded by cluster bombs used by American and British forces in the invasion of Iraq, and Iraqis are still being killed and maimed by the munitions months after they were dropped.
In March and April, cluster bombs used in populated areas were responsible for more civilian casualties than any other weapon, said a report published today. On one day, 31 March, 33 civilians were killed and 109 injured by the bomblets dropped on of Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad.
The report, by Human Rights Watch (HRW), says American and British forces used nearly 13,000 cluster bombs, often in populated areas. The weapons, packed with small bomblets, some with time delays, have a failure rate of 5 per cent and the unexploded bomblets can lie in the ground for months until set off by a passer-by or a vehicle. Experience from other conflicts, including the US-led war in Afghanistan, has shown the unexploded, yellow bombs attract curious children.