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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3158339.stm Sunday, 17 August, 2003 BBC News: Children protest over cluster bombs The children took their protest to 10 Downing Street. Children wearing bandages covered in fake blood have marched to Downing Street in a protest against the use of cluster bombs. The members of the pressure group Children Against the War released anti-cluster balloons and performed a short play on the tragedy of a child's death from unexploded bombs. The aim was to highlight the continuing impact on children in Iraq of unexploded cluster munitions used by British and American forces. Sunday's protest comes just days after a coroner called on the Ministry of Defence to review its use of cluster bombs following the death of a British soldier who was killed trying to make an area safe for Iraqi farmers. The group made a long banner in Parliament Square reading "Kids Say No to Clusters", using brightly coloured hand prints. Immediate ban They then walked to Downing Street where a smaller group was allowed to carry placards and a banner up the door of Number 10. They delivered a letter asking Prime Minister Tony Blair to explain why it was necessary to use cluster bombs. It also demanded an immediate ban on their use and called for the government to take responsibility for clearing unexploded bombs which have already dropped. The children were joined by other campaigners from Voices UK, and members of CND. The children took their protest to 10 Downing Street Children Against the War's eight-year-old spokeswoman, Sonia, from London, said she was angry that children could still be maimed and killed long after the war had ended. On Friday an inquest heard how bomb disposal expert Chris Muir, 32, from Romsey, Hampshire, was killed while trying to defuse "bomblets" released by a cluster bomb in southern Iraq on 31 March. The staff sergeant, from the Army School of Ammunition in Kineton, Warwickshire, had defused more than 100 bomblets when one exploded. 'Legitimate role' An inquest into his death heard how 30% of cluster bomblets fail to detonate when dropped on sandy ground. But an MoD spokesman defended their use. He told BBC News Online: "We do use cluster bombs. They are legal weapons. "As long as our potential enemies have weapons of a similar kind then it would be unfair not to allow our forces to act in a similar way. "Cluster bombs fulfil a legitimate role and they are not indiscriminate weapons. "We make a note where we drop them and if we can, afterwards we make sure that we clear the area." ============================== http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/world/newsid_3159000/3159917.stm Children protest against deadly cluster bombs 18 August 2003 Kids have marched through London to complain about the use of deadly cluster bombs, which have killed innocent people all over the world. They used handprints to make their banners Members of Children Against The War met outside the Houses of Parliament before marching to Prime Minister Tony Blair's home to continue their protest. They used their handprints to make a banner which read: "Kids say no to clusters." Some kids were keen to highlight the terrible injuries caused by the bombs, so they wore bandages and fake blood. They also performed a play and released balloons as part of their protest. Mini-bombs Fact File Cluster bombs Open in mid-air and send out loads of mini-bombs Can be launched from the air or rocket launchers Up to 30% of the mini-bombs don't explode They get less stable with each passing year They can explode at the slightest touch They want the US and UK forces to stop using the bombs. Cluster bombs contain loads of mini-bombs, which can scatter to cover an area as large as several football fields. But up to 30% of the bombs don't explode. They often remain there for years after the conflict. Unusual shape Kids are attracted to them because of their unusual shape and bright colours. The bombs can be triggered just by someone touching them. Cluster bombs have been dropped in Iraq, Afghanistan and Laos among other countries. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk