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Syrian conflict enters its third year

Syria expands use of widely banned cluster bombs, group says

Human Rights Watch: At least 156 of the devices, which scatter small bomblets, used in 119 locations in past 6 months

A Syrian boy waves the Syrian revolutionary flag during a commemorative celebration of the second anniversary of the Syrian revolution, in Amman, Jordan, March 16, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Mohammad Hannon)
A Syrian boy waves the Syrian revolutionary flag during a commemorative celebration of the second anniversary of the Syrian revolution, in Amman, Jordan, March 16, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Mohammad Hannon)

BEIRUT (AP) — An international human rights group says the Syrian regime is expanding its use of widely banned cluster bombs in attacks on residential areas.

Such bombs open in flight, scattering smaller bomblets. They pose a threat to civilians long afterwards since many don’t explode immediately.

Human Rights Watch said Saturday that at least 156 cluster bombs were used in 119 locations across Syria in the past six months. It says two strikes in the past two weeks killed 11 civilians, including two women and five children.

The group says it based the report on field investigations and analysis of more than 450 amateur videos.

The Syria conflict was sparked by an uprising against President Bashar Assad that turned into a civil war. Long deadlocked, it entered its third year Saturday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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