Cluster bomb

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Cluster munitions, cluster bombs or sub-munitions are air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapons that eject smaller munitions: a cluster of bomblets. The most common types are designed to kill enemy personnel and destroy vehicles. Other submunition-based weapons designed to destroy runways, electric power transmission lines, disperse chemical or biological weapons, or to scatter land mines have also been produced. Some submunition-based weapons can disperse non-munitions such as leaflets.

Because cluster bombs release many small bomblets over a wide area they pose risks to civilians both during attacks and afterwards. During attacks the weapons are prone to indiscriminate effects, especially in populated areas. Unexploded bomblets can kill or maim civilians long after a conflict has ended. Unexploded submunitions are costly to locate and remove.

Cluster munitions are prohibited for those nations that ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, adopted in Dublin, Ireland in May 2008. The Convention entered into force and became binding international law on 1 August 2010, six months after being ratified by 30 states;[1] as of April 2010, a total of 105 states have signed the Convention.[2][3] The United States is one noteable country that did not sign the convention.


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