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The bomblets often fail to explode on impact, leaving landmines littering the ground in the form of unexploded munitions.
The bomblets then scatter and descend nose-down to land and explode almost at once over a wide area, often hundreds of yards across.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that during the ongoing conflict in Syria Russian-made RBK-250 series cluster bomb canisters with AO-1SCh fragmentation bomblets were used by the government troops against the rebel forces.
According to Wikipedia: Cluster Munitions (CCM) is an international treaty that prohibits the use, transfer and stockpile of cluster bombs, a type of explosive weapon which scatters submunitions ("bomblets") over an area.
Cluster weapons scatter small bomblets indiscriminately, which do not explode immediately but often maim or kill civilians, years later.
Cluster bomblets are packed by the hundreds into artillery shells, bombs or missiles, which scatter them over vast areas.
Cluster bombs, which spray deadly bomblets indiscriminantly over a large area, are banned by most countries.
MISRATA, April 16, 2011 (TAP) - Rebels in Misrata, which came under heavy shelling Friday from troops loyal to Colonel Gaddafi, claimed the dictator's forces had been using cluster bombs which pose a particular risk to civilians because they scatter small bomblets over a wide area.
The United Nations estimates that Israel dropped more than four million cluster bomblets in southern Lebanon during the summer war.
During the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon, in the summer of 2006, Israel fired millions of bomblets, mostly into the south of the country.
The United States alone accounts for cluster bombs or shells containing around 800 million bomblets, according to the Cluster Munition Coalition, citing US congressional records.
Cluster bombs are dropped from planes or fired by mortars before the canisters open mid-air, releasing bomblets that scatter over a wide area.