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Use of U.S. cluster bombs by Israel called likely violation

January 30, 2007|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — The United States said Monday that Israel probably violated an agreement on its use of U.S.-made cluster bombs in July's war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

"There were likely violations," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

The State Department said it had delivered a classified preliminary report to Congress on Monday. McCormack declined to say how Israel violated U.S. rules, contending that such information was classified.

A investigation was begun last year after reports that three types of U.S. cluster bombs were found in southern Lebanon and were linked to civilian deaths.

Cluster bombs burst into smaller "bomblets" that spread out near the ground. The United States and Italy are among the nations trying to remove tens of thousands of unexploded bomblets in southern Lebanon.

Israel has defended its right to use cluster bombs and says it only deploys them in accordance with international law.

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