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UN expert discovers 'unexploded cluster bombs' in Sri Lanka's erstwhile civil war zone

Colombo , Fri, 27 Apr 2012 ANI

Colombo, Apr 27 (ANI): A cache of unexploded cluster bombs have been found in Sri Lanka, a UN expert has claimed.

Allan Poston, Technical Adviser, UN Development Programme's mine action group in Sri Lanka revealed that the unexploded cluster bombs were discovered in the Puthukudiyiruppu area of northern Sri Lanka, which is close to the area where a child was also killed in an explosion last month.

"After reviewing additional photographs from the investigation teams, I have determined that there are cluster sub-munitions in the area where the children were collecting scrap metal and in the house where the accident occurred. This is the first time that there has been confirmed unexploded sub-munitions found in Sri Lanka," the BBC quoted Poston, as saying.

Cluster weapons scatter small bomblets indiscriminately, which do not explode immediately but often maim or kill civilians, years later.

However, the government has denied that it ever used cluster bombs during the civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lankan military spokesman Brig Ruwan Wanigasuriya claimed that the armed forces had "not used any bombs that fall into the category of cluster munitions". He said that the military has now asked the UN to show evidence in support of their claims.

The uses of bombs in wars are banned under an international treaty that took effect in August 2010, but wasn't signed by India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Pakistan and the US, who all gave the argument that 'bombs are a legitimate weapon of war when used properly'.

The UN claimed that tens of thousands of civilians may have been killed in the last few months of the Sri Lankan war in 2009. (ANI)

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