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Syria using widely banned cluster bombs in civil conflict

Human Rights Watch claims cluster munitions have been used in 119 different locations since August 2012, claiming numerous civilian lives.

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A Syrian man shows the tailfin of what Human Rights Watch says is a cluster bomb. (Human Rights Watch/Screengrab)

The Syrian government is using widely internationally condemned cluster bombs in its ongoing civil war, watchdog group Human Rights Watch stated March 16 in a new report.

Human Rights Watch says that cluster bombs, which scatter deadly "bomblets" after they're detonated, pose a special danger to civilians, and that at least 156 of the weapons have been deployed in 119 different locations in the past six months.

Read more from GlobalPost: Syria: Regime uses cluster bombs on civilians

Two attacks in only the past two weeks had killed eleven civilians and wounded 27 others, HRW noted.

“Syria is expanding its relentless use of cluster munitions, a banned weapon, and civilians are paying the price with their lives and limbs,” said Steve Goose, HRW's Arms division director in the report.

“The initial toll is only the beginning because cluster munitions often leave unexploded bomblets that kill and maim long afterward," Goose added.

Human Rights Watch gathered the information from both field work and from analyzing online videos of the conflict posted by activists.

According to AFP, the bloody Syrian civil conflict has killed over 70,000 since it began in March 2011, internally displacing millions, and forcing at least a million to flee to safer locations overseas.

Syria is not a party to the international Convention on Cluster Munitions, which has deemed the weapons too cruel to civilians for legal use, added AFP.

Human Rights Watch says this video uploaded by activists shows remnants of a RBK cluster bomb canister.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130316/syria-using-widely-banned-cluster-bombs-civil-conflic