Friday, April 27, 2007

One Unexploded Bomb Per Person

Dahr Jamail, Electronic Lebanon, 27 April 2007

"SRIFA, Southern Lebanon, 27 April (IPS) - Close to a million unexploded bombs are estimated to litter southern Lebanon, according to UN forces engaged in the hazardous task of removing them.

The United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) was created by the Security Council in 1978 to confirm an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and restore international peace and security. After the war last year it has a new job on its hands.

Following the July-August war between Israel and the Hezbollah in Lebanon, UNIFIL enhanced its force and took on new tasks such as monitoring the cessation of hostilities and removing untold numbers of unexploded missiles, mines and cluster bombs.

Most of these lie in southern Lebanon, which took the brunt of bombings from Israeli warplanes.....

"Between 10-40 percent of the cluster bombs do not explode on impact," a lieutenant who gave his name as Verbeke, with the Belgian contingent of UNIFIL, told IPS at the site of a 500kg unexploded bomb in Srifa, a little town near the border. "Sometimes they get stuck in trees or bushes, and there are Lebanese people being injured or killed by them nearly every single day."

Israeli warplanes roared overhead as he spoke, in clear violation of the ceasefire agreement brokered between Lebanon and Israel......"

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