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Lavrov calls for Lebanon cluster bomb probe

Russian Foreign Minister called for an investigation into Israel's use of cluster bombs during fighting in Lebanon.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2006 05:54 IST

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Friday for an investigation into Israel's use of cluster bombs during last month's fighting in Lebanon.

"It is in everyone's interest and in the interest of finally turning this page that such an investigation be conducted, facts be determined with no ambiguities left," Lavrov said while on his way home from a Middle East tour.

Israel insisted that "all weapons it used were up to international norms and conventions, and that forbidden weapons were not used," he said.

While the case was probed on Lebanon's request, "clarification from an independent source would not hurt," said the minister.

Cluster bombs are shells that eject multiple small munitions, or bomblets. They are particularly dangerous because a high proportion of the bomblets fail to explode on impact and can remain dangerous for years afterwards.

United Nations humanitarian chief Jan Egeland has warned that thousands of civilians are at risk in south Lebanon from unexploded cluster bombs dropped by Israeli forces in the last three days of the war.

Up to 100,000 unexploded cluster bombs are thought to remain in south Lebanon, according to the UN humanitarian coordination office.

More than 1,200 people were killed in Lebanon, mostly civilians along with 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

First Published: Sep 09, 2006 05:54 IST