Once again putting a sharp point on exactly why virtually every nation on the planet has banned the use of cluster munitions, two Serbian soldiers were killed today by a NATO bomblet left over from the 1999 attack on the country.
The bombing took place in a field near the Mount Kopaonik military barracks in southern Serbia, along the border with NATO-occupied Kosovo. Such munitions continue to be a part of the daily reality for troops in southern Serbia, despite the war being long over.
This reflects similar incidents in other cluster-bombed areas, including parts of Iraq and Afghanistan littered with the bomblets from US attacks and southern Lebanon, which still has cluster bombs left over from Israel’s 2006 invasion.
The bombs are meant primarily as anti-personnel weapons, as the bombs scatter smaller bomblets across a wide area. The problem is that the bomblets don’t always explode on impact, and remain active for decades after their use, meaning any site hit with a cluster bombing campaign potentially will always have some unfound bomblets lingering about.
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