(AFP) - Evidence is growing that Russian forces are using cluster bombs in Syria, campaigners said Thursday, as they released a report showing more than 400 people were killed or maimed by the munitions in the world last year.
Human Rights Watch blamed a sharp increase in the use of the banned bombs on Russian forces who are carrying out air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"Russia appears largely responsible for the significant increase in cluster munition attacks on opposition-held areas of Syria since it began its joint military operation," HRW said in a statement, launching the latest Cluster Munition Monitor report.
Russia has repeatedly denied using cluster bombs, which spray bomblets indiscriminately.
But the report said there was "compelling evidence that Russia is using cluster munitions in Syria and/or directly participating with Syrian government forces in attacks using cluster munitions." READ MORE