New evidence has emerged recently testifying to the use of cluster bombs by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said. According to the organization, it was civilians who were targeted in the raids. The use of cluster combs in combat action is internationally outlawed, Pravda.Ru reports.
In the Saada province in the north of Yemen, Human Rights Watch activists documented the use of three types of cluster munitions during their visit to the country this month.
"The Saudi-led coalition and other warring parties in Yemen need to recognize that using banned cluster munitions is very likely to harm civilians," said HRW's senior emergencies researcher Ole Solvang. "These weapons can't distinguish military targets from civilians, and their unexploded submunitions threaten civilians, especially children, even long after the fighting," he added.
At least two people, both of them believed to be civilians, were injured in one air raid attack; four others, including a child, were wounded in another. Both assaults took place in the northern strongholds, controlled by the Shiite Houthi anti-government forces.
HRW has called on the 10-member coalition not to use cluster bombs in the conflict. It has also urged nations backing the Saudis, such as the US, to denounce the use of the illegal munitions.
Saudi Arabia and the nine other Arab nations, who make up the coalition, have not signed up to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits their use.
In cluster munitions, there are hundreds of small explosive parts that fly around in all directions as a result of a cluster bomb explosion, Pravda.Ru says. Some of the explosive parts do not detonate immediately and may remain dormant for many years before exploding. It is civilians and children in the first place who fall victims of such traps.
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