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Syrian Army using banned cluster bomb munitions on civilians!

Syrian Army using banned cluster bomb munitions on civilians! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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Cluster bombs linked to civilian casualties

The news of Khalouf's apparent defection and the death of Hasan came the same day a human rights group accused Syrian forces of using an increasing number of cluster bombs in residential areas.

Human Rights Watch says its researchers have identified 119 locations across Syria, where at least 156 cluster bombs have been used from August to mid-February.

The result is "mounting civilian casualties," the rights group said.

Human Rights Watch said it has investigated two cluster bomb attacks in the past two weeks -- in Deir Jamal, near Aleppo, and Talbiseh, near Homs.

These attacks killed 11 civilians, including two women and five children, and injured 27 others, the rights group said.

"Syria is expanding its relentless use of cluster munitions, a banned weapon, and civilians are paying the price with their lives and limbs," said Steve Goose, director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch.

"The initial toll is only the beginning because cluster munitions often leave unexploded bomblets that kill and maim long afterward."

The Syrian government did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment....

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UK banks fund deadly cluster-bomb industry

UK banks fund deadly cluster-bomb industry | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and HSBC have all provided funding to the makers of cluster bombs, even as international opinion turns against a weapons system that is inherently indiscriminate and routinely maims or kills civilians.

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Using a loophole in the legislation, financial institutions can continue to back cluster-arms manufacturers as long as they don't invest in the bombs directly. The loophole has prompted Amnesty International to launch a national campaign calling on the Government to legislate against any indirect investment in cluster weapons.

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Other British high street banks have also played a role in investing in arms companies known to make cluster weapons. In April 2009, Barclays and HSBC were involved in a major financing deal with Textron, a US arms manufacturer that builds a "sensor fused weapon" – the world's most powerful cluster bomb. Alliant Techsystems makes the weapon's rocket motor.

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None of these investments is illegal. But they will lead to further concerns about the moral behaviour of the banking industry at a time of public anger over its role in the credit crisis and bankers' bonuses.

The majority of investors in cluster munitions are from countries such as China, Russia and the US, which have refused to sign up to the global ban. Those countries are also the world's largest producers of sub-munitions.

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