US Drops New High Tech Cluster Bomb in Iraq

Australian Broadcasting Company
April 3, 2003

On Tuesday, an AFP correspondent at Hilla south of Baghdad saw
what seemed to be the parts of cluster bombs peppered over a large area.

Hospital officials and witnesses said 48 civilians had died in US-British bombardment of the area since late Monday. US forces have dropped on Iraq "for the first time in combat history" a new version of a cluster bomb that adapts to wind and weather to hit targets more accurately, Central Command said.

Six CBU-105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers were dropped by B-52 bombers at 5:15am local time (12:15pm AEST) in central Iraq "to stop an Iraqi tank column from continuing on its route towards coalition troops," a Central Command statement said.

It said the CBU-105 features "wind-compensating technology that steers the munitions from a known release point to precise target coordinates while compensating for launch transients, winds aloft, surface winds and adverse weather conditions". Human rights groups have long protested the use of cluster bombs, which they say cause undue risks to civilians.

On Tuesday, an AFP correspondent at Hilla south of Baghdad saw what seemed to be the parts of cluster bombs peppered over a large area. Hospital officials and witnesses said 48 civilians had died in US-British bombardment of the area since late Monday.

New York-based Human Rights Watch, in a report days ahead of the start of the current conflict, said cluster munitions dropped in the 1991 Gulf war were to blame for the deaths or injuries of more than 4,000 civilians after the fighting ended.

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