Monday, May 16, 2011

White phosphorous used in Afghan war: Report

The Nation, May 15, 2011
 
White phosphorous used in Afghan war: Report
Leaked documents have revealed that US-led forces in Afghanistan have made extensive use of white phosphorus bombs in densely-populated areas.

A review of the Afghan military documents revealed more than 1,100 instances of US-led forces — including Danish troops — having used white phosphorus (WP) grenades, rockets and bombs, the Danish daily Information reported.

According to one document, US-led forces fired 20 to 50 WP rockets at a single target. Many of the WP munitions have often been used in residential areas, the Press TV quoted the report as saying.

White phosphorus is a substance that burns upon coming into contact with human flesh; it sticks to the skin and continues to burn as long as there is oxygen. The result is severe and possibly lethal chemical burns.

According to international conventions the use of white phosphorus is to be restricted exclusively to areas that are not densely populated.

However, the leaked documents from Afghanistan indicate that the WP has been used as an attack weapon in populated areas, including zones where the Danish troops are deployed.

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