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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:45, August 31, 2006
UN official shocked at Israel's cluster-bombing of south Lebanon
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UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland on Wednesday expressed his shock at Israel's cluster- bombing of Lebanon in the last few days of the month-long conflict although a UN resolution ending the war was imminent.

"What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution, when we knew there would be an end," said Egeland, who is the UN's under-secretary-general.

He said that UN agencies had identified "359 separate cluster bomb strike locations that are contaminated with as many 100,000 unexploded bomblets."

The lives of thousands of civilians were at risk in south Lebanon from unexploded cluster bombs, he added.

"Every day, people are maimed, wounded and are killed by these ordnance," which are also presenting "massive problems" to civilians returning to their homes in south Lebanon, he said.

About 250,000 Lebanese civilians, of about 1 million displaced, still cannot return to their homes because they have been destroyed or are too close to unexploded ordnance, he said.

"I hope the U.S. will talk to the Israelis on that because it is an outrage that we have 100,000 unexploded bombs among where children, women, shopkeepers and farmers are now going to tread," he said.

It would take months, or "possibly years" to clean up the bombs, which are spread over a vast land, he said.

Source: Xinhua

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