Gadhafi Uses Cluster Bombs in Civilian Areas

Human Rights Watch demands halt; government denies it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2011 6:33 PM CDT
An evacuee and child prepare to disembark as nearly 1,200 migrant workers who were evacuated from Misrata by boat arrived at the port in Benghazi Friday.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
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(Newser) – Moammar Gadhafi's forces are firing cluster bombs into residential areas in their bid to overtake Misrata, the last major city held by rebels in western Libya, the New York Times reports. Cluster bombs are banned in much of the world because they wreak widespread damage and are by their nature impossible to fire precisely. The Gadhafi government denies using them, but a Times reporter found and photographed cluster munitions.

Human Rights Watch conducted its own investigation and agreed, notes CNN. "It's appalling that Libya is using this weapon, especially in a residential area," said an HRW official. Hillary Clinton said she had no information about the cluster weapoins, but added, “I’m not surprised by anything that Colonel Gadhafi and his forces do.” The development could ratchet up pressure on NATO to give more help to anti-Gadhafi forces.

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