The New York Times is reporting today that Muammar Gadhafi's forces have been firing into residential neighborhoods of the Libyan city of Misurata with weapons such as cluster bombs and ground-to-ground rockets. (Yesterday, The Blaze reported on a Boston Globe op-ed that was written by an expert who questioned whether Gadhafi's forces were actually targeting civilians. As more details emerge, perhaps that opinion needs reconsideration).
Cluster bombs, the Times notes, have been banned by "much the world."
Such “indiscriminate” weapons, which strike large areas with a dense succession of high-explosive munitions, by their nature cannot be fired precisely, and when fired into populated areas place civilians at grave risk.
According the the Times, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was "not aware" of these cluster bomb attacks on Misurata civilians. But, she added, “I’m not surprised by anything that Colonel Qadaffi and his forces do.”
Human Rights Watch also confirmed the use of these deadly munitions:
Human Rights Watch observed at least three cluster munitions explode over the el-Shawahda neighborhood in Misrata on the night of April 14, 2011. Researchers inspected the remnants of a cluster submunition and interviewed witnesses to two other apparent cluster munition strikes.
The New York Times has more details about the cluster bombs. They appear to be "120-millimeter mortar rounds" which explode over the city "scattering high-explosive bomblets below."
Remnants of expended shells, examined and photographed by The New York Times, show the rounds to be MAT-120 cargo mortar projectiles, each of which carries and distributes 21 smaller submunitions designed both to kill people and penetrate light armor.
Here is the mentioned photograph: