Georgian Cluster Bombs Killed Own Civilians

Human rights group says 3 killed by malfunctioning bombs
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2008 8:55 AM CST
Georgians look at a cluster bomb in the village of Ruisi, near the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008.   (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
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(Newser) – The cluster bombs Georgia used during its war with Russia malfunctioned on an “absolutely massive scale,” killing at least three civilians, and leaving the country littered with deadly unexploded bombs, according to new research from Human Rights Watch. The Georgian Ministry of Defense said the findings were “impossible,” because the bombs were never used “nearby/around civilian populated areas.”

Russia and Georgia both made heavy use of the weapons, which more than 100 countries have agreed to outlaw. But top producers like the US, Russia, China, and Israel haven’t signed and won’t abide by the treaty. Georgia’s cluster bombs were purchased from Israel. Georgia says engineers from the company that produced them are conducting “intensive investigations” into whether or not they malfunctioned.