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2006.11.17
The border village of Ait el Shaab saw some of the fiercest fighting of the 34-day war in Lebanon. But 12-year-old Marwa was injured days after the guns fell silent. She is one of a growing number of children to fall victim to the hidden menace of cluster bombs. Marwa’s cousin Sikuna was injured in the same incident. She’s still in the intensive care unit of Tyre hospital, where shrapnel was removed from her liver. In the bed next to hers, another cousin, 10-year-old Hassan, lies under heavy sedation. The three children came across what they thought was a harmless piece of metal on the road near their homes and decided to play ball with it. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Sikuna Marei, 12-years-old: “My cousin tried to pick up the bomb. She wanted to carry it outside. Then it exploded. I felt pain in my stomach. There was smoke everywhere and blood pouring from me.” Within the first week of the ceasefire, bomb disposal teams found thousands of unexploded cluster bombs in over 50 locations. In streets, fields, and even in people’s homes these deadly munitions - fired by Israeli artillery - are now lying in wait for anyone unlucky or unwise enough to disturb them. But it’s the threat to the young that is causing greatest concern. SOUNDBITE (English) Chris Clark, U.N. Demining Center in Tyre, Lebanon: “They look like fat torch batteries. So they seem innocuous particularly to the innocent mind of a child, or the curious mind of a child. They’re small, they easily conceal themselves amongst all the rubble or the debris of the bombing. We find that children unwittingly pick them up and then sadly suffer injuries from them.” In response, UNICEF and its partners have produced posters and leaflets along with radio and television advertisements, warning against touching any unexploded munitions. The campaign will try to ensure that other children avoid Sikuna’s fate, and that a deadly legacy of war is contained. In south Lebanon, this is Simon Ingram reporting for UNICEF television. Unite for children. *** Asset Name : UNICEF: Unexploded ordnance remains threat to safety of children in Lebanon Asset Duration: 02 min 44 secs Shoot City: Ait al Shaab Shoot Country: Lebanon Shoot Date: 20 Aug 2006
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