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[casi] Iraqis Killed By Faulty Grenades

Published on Monday, June 23, 2003 by the Associated Press

Officials: Hundreds of Iraqis Killed By Faulty Grenades
by Thomas Frank [???]


The "dud rate" for cluster grenades can be reduced to less than 1 percent by
installing secondary fuses that blow up or neutralize grenades that fail to
explode on impact, according to defense contractors. In early 2001, the
Pentagon said it would achieve that goal, but not until 2005. In the
meantime, the military continues to use a vast arsenal of cluster grenades
that fail to meet the new standard.

Former military officials and defense experts say the effort to improve the
grenades was given a low priority and little funding.

"The Army is behind, and the Army is moving very slowly," said retired Army
Lt. Gen. Michael Davison, now president of the U.S. division of Israel
Military Industries, which has made 60 million grenades with secondary
fuses. "It's a sorry situation that we didn't have secondary fuses on the
artillery submunitions that were fired in the last several wars."

Britain, which joined the United States in the fight to oust Saddam Hussein,
fired 2,000 artillery cluster weapons in the war. All were equipped with
Israeli-made grenades with secondary fuses and a 2 percent dud rate, the
British Defense Ministry said.

The United States fired cluster weapons as bombs, rockets and artillery
shells, which open like a clam to scatter hundreds of grenades over an area
as large as several city blocks. Almost all of the U.S. grenades had one
standard fuse, according to military records and officials. A notable
exception was a type of cluster bomb carrying newly designed -- and
expensive -- grenades with infrared sensors that seek armored vehicles and
self-destruct if none is found.

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