Unexploded ordnance killed 27 since end of war

Cluster bombs gathered to be destroyed by mine sweepers in the suburbs of Tyre city in southern Lebanon, 6 October 2006. Unexploded ordnance in southern Lebanon continues to pose great risks to civilians returning to their villages, according to the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC). It estimates that there are at least one million unexploded cluster bomblets in the area. (Manoocher Deghati/IRIN)

Casualties from Unexploded Ordnance
  • There have been 27 reported fatalities and 179 reported injuries from all types of unexploded ordnance in Lebanon. Of these totals, males and females 18 years old or younger accounted for six of the fatalities and 64 of the injuries, according to MACC-SL. All the fatalities and all but five of the injuries resulted from cluster munitions.

    Cluster Bomb Contamination

  • So far, 839 cluster bomb strike locations have been identified in the south.
  • For each cluster-bomb strike, clearance personnel must verify an area totaling 196,000 square meters to locate (and eventually destroy) all unexploded bomblets.
  • An estimated 12 to 15 months will be needed to clear the cluster bomblets from southern Lebanon.
  • Unexploded cluster bomblets pose an immediate threat to returnees and humanitarian workers. They also pose a threat to the deployment of an enhanced UNIFIL peacekeeping force.
  • So far, more than 94,000 cluster bomblets have been cleared and destroyed jointly by the Mine Action Coordination Center of South Lebanon (and its contractors), UNIFIL engineers and the Lebanese Armed Forces.

    Types and Quantities of Cluster Bombs

    Most cluster bomblets were delivered by rockets or artillery. A limited number appear to have been dropped by aircraft (BLU-63-type bombs). Official and complete statistics about the quantity of cluster bombs used are not available. However, an extrapolation based partly on likely failure or “dud” rates of munitions and partly on media reports about the extent to which various types of cluster bombs were used indicates that up to 1 million unexploded cluster bomblets may be on the ground.

    Unexploded Ordnance Other than Cluster Bombs

  • In addition to cluster bomblets, there are an estimated 15,300 other items of unexploded ordnance on the ground in southern Lebanon.
  • Other unexploded ordnance includes air-dropped bombs of 500 lbs. to 2,000 lbs (found in residential areas), ground- and naval-launched artillery rounds, and air-delivered rockets.

    Operational Response

  • Lebanon’s National Demining Office is collecting information and coordinating the response to the problem in partnership with the Mine Action Coordination Centre of South Lebanon (overseen by the UN Mine Action Service).
  • The UN Mine Action Coordination Center of South Lebanon is the coordination hub for the UN response in the south, in collaboration with Lebanon’s National Demining Office.
  • Clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, and information gathering are being carried out by the Lebanese Army, UNIFIL, nongovernmental organizations Mines Advisory Group, Norwegian People’s Aid, the Swedish Rescue Services Agency, and the commercial firm BACTEC contracted through the UN Office for Project Services.
  • UNICEF is supporting the National Demining Office’s Mine Risk Education Steering Committee to implement a print and broadcast media campaign to raise awareness among civilians — especially children — about the dangers of UXO.
    Funding Information
  • In response to UN mine action appeals, US$19.5 million has been committed by Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Estonia, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the USA. An additional US$6 million has been pledged (unconfirmed) by Canada, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Additional bilateral funding is being provided by the European Commission, the United Kingdom and the USA. The United Arab Emirates has also directly contracted clearance operations.

    UN Mine Action Coordination Centre of South Lebanon, 19 January, 2007. In Lebanon, contact Dalya Farran, UN Mine Action Coordination Centre of South Lebanon, Tel. +961-3 527996. farran@un.org. In New York, contact Richard Kollodge, UN Mine Action Service, tel.+1-212 963-5677, kollodge@un.org

    Related Links

  • Electronic Mine Information Network