Newspaper article International New York Times

Saudi-Led Group in Yemen Said to Use Cluster Bombs

Newspaper article International New York Times

Saudi-Led Group in Yemen Said to Use Cluster Bombs

Article excerpt

The Human Rights Watch said it had found evidence that the Saudi- led coalition had used a type of munition that is banned by much of the world.

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting a rebel group in Yemen has in the past few weeks used cluster munitions supplied by the United States, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Sunday.

The report said video, photographs and other evidence showed that the coalition had used cluster bombs near villages in Yemen's northern Saada Province. The group, which said it had found evidence that the weapons had been deployed on at least two separate occasions, has not been able to establish whether any casualties had resulted from their use, according to the report.

Cluster munitions, which are banned by much of the world, though not by the United States, Saudi Arabia or Yemen, are considered imprecise weapons that spread ordnance over a wide area and pose a long-term danger to civilians because of the unexploded bomblets they leave behind.

Saudi Arabia has come under growing international criticism for the high civilian death toll during its aerial campaign, which has been carried out over more than five weeks alongside a coalition of Arab states and with intelligence and logistical support from the United States.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in fighting since late March, when the Saudis said their military was intervening to roll back the gains of the Houthis, a Shiite rebel group that had captured large parts of Yemen and forced the president, supported by Saudi Arabia, into exile.

There have been no precise tallies of deaths caused by the airstrikes, in part because of the difficulties human rights groups face in accessing many parts of Yemen. Dozens of people have been killed at a time in several well-documented bombings, including airstrikes near a military base in Yemen's capital, Sana; at a dairy factory near the city of Al Hudaydah; and at a camp for internally displaced people in northern Yemen. …

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