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Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 18:20 UK

Dutchman 'killed by Russian bomb'

Stan Storimans
Stan Storimans died on 12 August while filming for RTL Nieuws

A formal inquiry in the Netherlands has blamed a Russian cluster bomb for the death of a Dutch cameraman in Georgia.

The death of Stan Storimans during the August conflict has been linked to a bomb fired by a rocket that is only used by Russia, the inquiry concluded.

Russia denied accusations by human rights groups that it had used cluster bombs during the conflict.

The Dutch government dispatched a team to the site where Mr Storimans, 39, was killed in the Georgian city of Gori.

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said no troops were in the area at the time of the attack.

He said cluster bombs should not be used against civilians.

Mr Storimans' colleague was slightly injured in the bombing.

'Very serious'

Georgia map

The Dutch investigators travelled to the region two weeks after Mr Storimans' death and gathered forensic evidence and eyewitness accounts.

They concluded Mr Storimans was killed by a munition "propelled by a type of rocket that is only found in Russia's military arsenal", the foreign ministry said.

Mr Verhagen called the findings "very serious."

"I have made that clear to the Russian authorities," he said in a statement. "Cluster munitions must not be used in this way."

Cluster bombs consist of a canister which breaks apart to release a large number of smaller bombs. A single canister typically scatters some 200 to 600 of the mini-explosives over an area the size of a football field.

Their use is widely condemned by human rights groups because of the indiscriminate nature of their dispersion.

In May, more than 100 countries agreed at a conference in Ireland to ban cluster bombs within eight years. Neither Georgia nor Russia signed the accord.





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