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五角大楼推迟停用老式集束炸弹计划 Pentagon Delays Plans to Stop Using Older Cluster Bombs








The Pentagon is indefinitely postponing plans to stop using a certain type of cluster bomb -- a battlefield weapon that has killed or seriously wounded civilians.

The Pentagon planned to stop using the older style bombs in 2019 and replace them with a so-called safer version.

A Defense Department memo said Thursday the military has been unable to produce cluster bombs with a failure rate of 1 percent or less.

Cluster bombs explode in midair and scatter smaller bombs across a wide target area.

Human rights groups say many of these bomblets fail to explode until a child finds one and mistakes it for a toy or a farmer picks one up in his field.

A 2010 treaty outlaws the use of cluster bombs, but the U.S. is not a signatory. It calls the bombs a legitimate weapon needed for such wartime tactics as attacking enemy troop formations.

Human Rights Watch condemned the Pentagon's decision.