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Lebanon

Farming on land cleared of cluster submunitions

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG

Around four million cluster submunitions were fired into Lebanon during the July-August 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.

As well as cluster bombs contamination dating from 2006, there is also the presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance caused by the 15 years of civil conflict that ended in 1990.

It is estimated that one in five of the population is affected by mines and cluster munitions [Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor 2012].

As well as hindering reconstruction efforts, the presence of mines and cluster munitions renders farmland unusable – at huge economic costs to the mainly rural communities of the south that are dependent on agriculture.

Cluster bombsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.
LandminesA landmine is defined by the Mine Ban Treaty as "a munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or a vehicle."

Landmines are generally divided into two main groups - anti-personnel and anti-tank - and have four main component parts: an outer structure made of either plastic, wood, metal, Bakelite, rubber or even glass; a fuse or firing mechanism; a detonator; and high explosives.

Some contain thousands of pieces of shrapnel, designed to fire out to great distances, while others have been made with a minimum amount of metal and are therefore difficult to detect using metal detectors.
Unexploded ordnanceExplosive weapons - such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades - that did not explode when they were used and still pose a risk of detonation.Cluster munitionsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.

Our work here in 2013

deminer icon

Land cleared: 868,189m²

UXO icon

Unexploded ordnance removed & destroyed: 673

cluster bomb icon

Cluster bomb submunitions removed & destroyed: 761

family icon

Men, women and children we helped directly: 80,579

Unexploded ordnanceExplosive weapons - such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades - that did not explode when they were used and still pose a risk of detonation.

"I found more than 50 cluster bombs around my house, and MAG came and cleared them and then searched the land." Hear from the people we help

Cluster bombsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.

Layla, bomb searcher

Layla is 23 years old and lives in Sur, south Lebanon, with her parents. She loves drawing, music and fashion design. She also works for MAG, clearing cluster bombs and landmines...

Beneath the Visor

The women clearing cluster bombs in southern Lebanon...

Cluster bombsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.
LandminesA landmine is defined by the Mine Ban Treaty as "a munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or a vehicle."

Landmines are generally divided into two main groups - anti-personnel and anti-tank - and have four main component parts: an outer structure made of either plastic, wood, metal, Bakelite, rubber or even glass; a fuse or firing mechanism; a detonator; and high explosives.

Some contain thousands of pieces of shrapnel, designed to fire out to great distances, while others have been made with a minimum amount of metal and are therefore difficult to detect using metal detectors.

Photo gallery: Lebanon

Meet the people affected by cluster bombs in southern Lebanon...

[Photos: © Sean Sutton/MAG, May 2013]

Cluster bombsCluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground.

They open in mid-air and release numerous (sometimes hundreds) explosive bomblets - 'submunitions' - over a wide area.

Most of these bomblets explode immediately, but many don't, killing and maiming civilians long after a conflict has ended.

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Lebanon flagAbout Lebanon

Population: 4.43 million

Life expectancy: 73 years

Gross National Income per capita: US $9,190

People with access to safe drinking water: 100%

People below the poverty line: 28%

Figures: CIA, UNDP, UN Water, World Bank

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