Deadly Playground Director: Katia Saleh Since the end of the 2006 war with Israel, thirteen year-old Hussein from the village of Sadikkeen in south Lebanon has been watching the de-mining experts, in his area, clearing the fields of the unexploded cluster bombs which the Israelis fired. This precocious young boy has learnt to identify the small, round, metallic objects - which other children have thought were play objects. They are anything but toys. Cluster bombs are controversial weapons consisting of a canister which breaks apart to release a large number of small bombs. The UN's humanitarian chief has accused Israel of "completely immoral" use of cluster bombs in Lebanon. The UN estimates as many as three million cluster bombs were discharged by Israel in its conflict with Hezballah. An estimated one million of them remain unexploded and scattered around the villages and mountains of southern Lebanon. They are small and remain hidden in the grass and bushes. Hussein's family is one of many farming families which live and work in so-called 'contaminated areas' where there are believed to be large numbers of unexploded cluster bombs. Hussein, like hundreds of children from South Lebanon, has come across many cluster bomblets in his neighborhood and farmland. He is fascinated by them - yet fully aware of their deadly power and the horrific injuries they can cause to unsuspecting victims.
Nov 27, 2007, 21:45:23
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