Israeli army delays Lebanon cluster bomb report (Israel)
JERUSALEM - The Israeli army said on Thursday it was delaying the release of an internal report on its use of cluster bombs during last year's war in Lebanon.
"The investigation of cluster bomb usage was thorough and involved many different sections ... Due to the sensitivity of the matter, the process of submission was prolonged," a statement said.
"Furthermore, the investigating officer was asked to add several elements to the investigation, which further delayed the submission of the final conclusions."
An army spokeswoman said, nevertheless, that the probe "was in its final stages."
The munitions dropped by Israel during its devastating air war against Lebanon included more than a million cluster bomblets, around 40 percent of which failed to detonate on impact, according to the United Nations.
According to the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre, more than 222 people have been wounded as a result of the cluster bomblets in the past six months. Of the victims, 190 have been civilians.
At least 27 people have been killed by the weapons since the conflict ended on August 14, 2006, according to an AFP tally.
Cluster munitions spread bomblets over a wide area from a single container. The bomblets often do not explode on impact, but can do so later at the slightest touch, making them as deadly as anti-personnel landmines.