In Brief

Saudi Arabia dropped British-made cluster bombs in Yemen

Michael Fallon tells Commons a 'limited number' of the banned missiles were dropped in air strikes

British-made cluster bombs have been used by the Saudi-led coalition during the conflict in Yemen, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon revealed.

He told the Commons yesterday  a "limited number" of BL-755 cluster munitions exported from the UK in the 1980s had been dropped in air strikes.

Saudi Arabian officials had confirmed earlier it had used the bombs but said it would not use them again, the BBC reports.

Kate Allen, Amnesty International's UK director, called for a suspension of arms sales to the country in the wake of the revelations.

"Thousands of Yemeni civilians have already been killed and injured by the Saudi coalition's reckless and indiscriminate bombing," she said.

"The UK should immediately suspend all further weapons sales to Saudi Arabia that risk fuelling these appalling atrocities in Yemen."

BL-755 cluster bombs, which were manufactured in the 1970s and sold to Saudi Arabia in the 1980s, were outlawed under the 2008 Ottawa convention on cluster munitions.

The UK is one of 108 signatories to the convention, which bans both the use and any assistance in using those types of weapons. They "pose an indiscriminate risk to civilians because they contain dozens of bomblets that can explode long after they are dropped", The Guardian says.

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