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The Irish Times

Lie-Down Protest Targets Cluster Bombs

Jason Michael

More than 100 campaigners against cluster bombs staged a lie-down protest in the middle of O'Connell Street in Dublin this morning.0522 01 1According to gardaí, the protest started at 7am and lasted about an hour. Campaigners, including survivors injured by cluster bombs, laid down in the median of O'Connell Street close to the Spire.

The protest was as part of the campaign to secure an international agreement banning cluster bombs. An international conference taking place this week in Croke Park aims to ban the manufacture and use of cluster munitions.

Representatives of more than 100 states are attending the conference, although the United States, Russia and Britain - some of the most prolific users of the small munitions - are not attending.

Cluster bombs open in mid-air and scatter as many as several hundred "bomblets" over wide areas. They often fail to explode, creating minefields that can kill or injure anyone who comes across them.

The UN Development Programme says cluster munitions have caused more than 13,000 confirmed injuries and deaths around the world, the great majority of them in Laos, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon.

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