Syria using banned weapons in civilian areas

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A shell lays in the middle of the street in Homs, Syria, a remnant of the heavy attack on the city. UN Photo/David Manyua

Syrian government forces have been extensively using cluster munitions to bombard civilian areas, according to the latest report published by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

The Cluster Munitions Monitor report says Syrian forces had used cluster munitions extensively between June 2012 and June this year in at least 152 locations which resulted in numerous civilian casualties.

The report says Syria suffered the highest number of cluster munitions casualties in 2012 with at least 165 people injured.

Syria which is not a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions has denied using the banned weapons.

Mary Wareham from Human Rights Watch is the editor of the Cluster Munitions Monitor report 2013.

"Syria is where we believe cluster munitions to be used extensively causing numerous casualties and we believe Syria is the country where they are being used right now, today. We have gone into the country periodically to try and document the use. We have also relied on the numerous videos and other visual evidence that citizen activists have uploaded into the internet, but I cannot say with any certainty exactly where or when cluster munitions were used by the Syrian regime. We believe that the use may have decreased but there is so much uncertainty around that. What we do know is that a large number of cluster munitions have been used they have caused a large number of casualties, they have been used in urban areas, they have been used on schools, they have killed people walking down the street, villages etc."

The report also details suspected use of cluster munitions by Myanmar government forces, Sudan, Libya and Thailand.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.52″

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