NEW YORK – April 16 – The U.S. Central Command should respond publicly to evidence that U.S. forces used cluster munitions in a populated area of Baghdad, Human Rights Watch urged today.
According to a report in yesterday?fs Newsday, a Central Command spokeswoman has anonymously confirmed that U.S. forces have hit urban areas of Baghdad with cluster munitions, stating that they were aimed at Iraqi artillery and missile systems located inside the city.
?gU.S. commanders should never use cluster munitions in populated areas,?h said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. ?gThese are wholly inappropriate weapons when civilians are around. The reported use of cluster munitions in Baghdad is a serious charge and the Pentagon must respond publicly to it.?h
Newsday?fs reporter provided Human Rights Watch with a photograph he had taken inside a building in what he described as a clearly residential neighborhood well inside Baghdad.