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Israel's Military Orders Investigation Into Use of Cluster Bombs During Lebanon War


News agencies in Israel are reporting that the country's military has ordered an investigation into its use of cluster bombs during the recent war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The reports say chief of staff Dan Halutz ordered the investigation after receiving information that Israel fired cluster bombs at Lebanese population centers during the month-long war that ended in August.

Israeli media are reporting that artillery units disobeyed orders by field commanders to refrain from using the cluster bombs. The reports say Halutz has appointed a general to head the investigation.

Cluster bombs contain hundreds of bomblets that disperse over a wide area. The United Nations says there are at least 350,000 unexploded cluster bomblets in southern Lebanon. At least 20 Lebanese have been killed by the bomblets since the war's end.

Rights groups have criticized Israel for using cluster bombs during the war.

Israel's government has claimed its use of the bombs was according to international law.

The U.S. State Department has begun an investigation into whether Israeli violated agreements restricting the use of U.S.-made cluster bombs.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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