Cluster bomb facts

Cluster bomb facts

  • It is estimated that there are 500,000 survivors of accidents caused by landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. In addition, millions of people live under the threat of those weapons, sometimes decades after conflict.
  • According to the 2012 Cluster Munition Monitor report, 94 percent of registered casualties are civilians and 40 percent are children
  • One cluster bomb contains hundreds of bomblets (or submunitions) and typically scatters them across an area the size of two to four football fields
  • Bomblets are small, often the size of a 'D' battery or a tennis ball and have a failure rate of up to 30 percent; unexploded bomblets become de facto landmines
  • More than 70 countries stockpiled over one billion submunitions in 2012 
  • The United States stockpile contains at least 730 million submunitions
  • 34 countries are known to have produced more than 210 types of cluster munitions, 17 of which are suspected of still producing in 2012 
  • Cluster bombs impede economic development, restrict access to water and deprive children of safe access to education
  • There were 40 countries and territories affected by the presence of unexploded munitions as of 2012
  • Unexploded bomblets were responsible for nearly 10% of U.S. fatalities in the Gulf War
  • The United States dropped 19 million in Cambodia, 70 million in Vietnam and 208 million in Laos
  • The U.S. executed more than 580,000 bombing missions over Laos, dropping, on average, an entire planeload of bombs every eight minutes, around the clock, for nine years.
  • The most cluster contaminated areas are in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Iraq, Laos, Kosovo and Vietnam.

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