Cluster bomb ban rejected by major nations

After a year of heated debate, a cluster bomb ban has finally been agreed by more than a hundred nations in the Irish capital, Dublin. However, the world's main producers of the controversial weapons – the U.S., Russia, Israel, India, China and

The U.S. said eliminating cluster munitions would put the lives of their soldiers at risk.

Russia said it needed the weapons as it had downsized its military.

Cluster bombs, in which hundreds of small 'bomblets' are packed together, have been used in conflicts worldwide from the Second World War to Iraq.

They have proved to be deadly against unprotected civilians.

Demand for a ban gained momentum after the Israel-Lebanon conflict in 2006, when Israeli troops dropped around four million bomblets. A quarter of them failed to explode leaving a deadly cluster-bomb ‘harvest’ in Lebanon.