100 states sign cluster-bomb ban in Oslo

December 3rd, 2008 - 7:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Oslo, Dec 3 (DPA) Government leaders from more than 100 states Wednesday signed a global ban on the use of cluster bombs.The treaty, which was negotiated in Dublin in May, bans the production, use and trade of cluster munitions.

Cluster weapons - criticised for carrying a high risk of maiming or killing civilians - can be launched from the air or via artillery shells and can disperse hundreds of bomblets over a target area.

Children are often victims of the weapons since they sometimes mistake the so-called bomblets for toys.

Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and humanitarian groups had pushed for the ban.

However, the world’s largest producers and users of cluster bomb munitions - the US, Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan - are not signatories of the treaty.

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