Amnesty: Syrian military uses cluster bombs in besieged area

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BEIRUT – Amnesty International says the Syrian government has used internationally banned cluster munitions in attacks on the besieged rebel-held suburb of Damascus.

Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb northeast of the Syrian capital, has been under a tightening siege since 2013 and is already facing a humanitarian crisis, including the highest recorded malnutrition rate since the conflict began in 2011.

Some 400,000 civilians are believed trapped there.

Amnesty said on Thursday that at least 10 civilians died because of the government's use of the banned Soviet-made cluster munitions. That's based on interviews with activists, verification of open source videos and photographers.

Amnesty says the indiscriminate weapons gravely endanger civilians because of their indiscriminate nature. The watchdog says they first appeared in Syria after Russia began strikes against anti-government groups in September 2015.

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