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Last Updated: Friday, 29 December 2006, 21:41 GMT
Belgian troops wounded in Lebanon
Cluster bomb
The UN estimates up to 40% of bomblets fail to explode on impact
Two Belgian soldiers on a mine-clearing operation in south Lebanon have been wounded after stepping on a cluster bomb, a UN spokesman has said.

The injured troops are members of the UN's peacekeeping force, Unifil, sent to Lebanon following the war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.

Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Israel is thought to have dropped more than a million bomblets on Lebanon during the summer's 34-day conflict.

"The two soldiers were seriously wounded while they were doing de-mining work in Majdel Selm but their lives are not in danger," a Unifil spokesman told the AFP news agency.

Belgium has 370 troops stationed in Lebanon as part of the 11,000-strong Unifil peacekeeping mission.

Hidden danger

Israel has been widely criticised by human rights organisations for its use of cluster bombs during the Lebanon conflict.

Cluster bombs hold hundreds of smaller high-explosive bomblets which are thrown out over a wide area when the holding canister opens.

Frequently, many bomblets do not explode on impact but will explode later if touched or disturbed, acting like an anti-personnel mine.

The UN estimates that there are up to a million unexploded bomblets in Lebanon.




SEE ALSO
Israel to probe cluster bomb use
21 Nov 06 |  Middle East
Lebanon mines 'continue to kill'
20 Oct 06 |  Middle East
'Million bomblets' in S Lebanon
26 Sep 06 |  Middle East
Clearing Lebanon's residue of war
25 Sep 06 |  Middle East
Familiar task for UN troops in Lebanon
03 Sep 06 |  Middle East

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