Campaigners: Syria using mines, cluster bombs on civilians

November 29, 2012 16:44

GENEVA - Syria has strewn landmines along its borders with Lebanon and Turkey, making it the only country worldwide to use the weapons this year, and is increasingly dropping cluster munitions on civilian areas, campaigners said on Thursday.

Nearly two dozen Syrians, many of them children, are known to have been killed or maimed by Soviet-made mines in border crossing areas so far this year, but the true number of casualties is probably higher, they said.

Another 10 children playing outdoors died in a government air strike that dropped cluster bombs on a rebel-held village near Damascus this week, they said.

"This year we have identified only one government that has used anti-personnel mines and that is Syria. We have information that the laying of mines has continued in Syria, with reports up to October this year that mines are being used," Mark Hiznay, editor of the Landmine Monitor 2012 report, told a briefing.

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