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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Two die in Lebanon bomb clear-up
Unexploded cluster bomblet
Thousands of unexploded cluster bomblets have been found
Two Lebanese soldiers have been killed and a third wounded while trying to defuse unexploded Israeli cluster bombs in southern Lebanon, officials say.

The blast occurred in Aita al-Jabal, near the Israeli border, which saw some of the fiercest fighting in the 34-day conflict that ended on 14 August.

Since then, munitions that initially failed to go off have led to at least 13 deaths and dozens of injuries.

The UN has warned of the danger to those returning to their homes.

Officials say they are particularly concerned that children might play with unexploded shells, cluster bombs or mines.

'Immoral'

UN efforts to rid Lebanon of cluster bombs have been under way since the conflict ended. The UN has found 100,000 unexploded cluster bomblets at 359 sites so far.

According to a UN count, at least 13 people have been killed - mostly unexploded bomblets from cluster munitions - since the ceasefire between the Israeli military and Hezbollah guerrilla.

At least five members of military bomb disposal teams are reported to be among the dead.

A UK mine clearance expert demonstrates how to dispose of a cluster bomblet safely

The UN's humanitarian chief has accused Israel of "completely immoral" use of the munitions in the country.

Critics of cluster bombs say the relatively high numbers of unexploded bomblets can kill and maim long after conflict has ended.

Israel says the munitions it uses in conflict comply with international law.

The UN ceasefire resolution which ended the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was agreed by the Security Council on 11 August and came into effect on 14 August.

The UN is installing 15,000 peacekeepers in southern Lebanon as part of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.




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