WHAT are cluster munitions?

A cluster munition, or cluster bomb, is a weapon containing multiple explosive submunitions. 

Cluster munitions are dropped from aircraft or fired from the ground or sea, opening up in mid-air to release tens or hundreds of submunitions, which can saturate an area up to the size of several football fields. Anybody within the strike area of the cluster munition, be they military or civilian, is very likely to be killed or seriously injured. 

The fuze of each submunition is generally activated as it falls so that it will explode above or on the ground. But often large numbers of the submunitions fail to function as designed, and instead land on the ground without exploding, where they remain as very dangerous duds.  

Cluster bombs have killed and injured tens of thousands of civilians. Read more about why they are banned here.

Illustration of a cluster bomb, Norwegian People’s Aid 

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