The British government says it is investigating reports of the use of UK-made cluster bombs by Saudi Arabia during its ongoing war on Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of civilians.
The investigation was triggered after Amnesty International said on Monday it had documented the use of cluster ammunition by Saudis in Yemen and that the ammunition had been manufactured in Britain in the 1970s. The human rights group said it found a partially-exploded BL-755 cluster bomb which had apparently malfunctioned in a remote village near the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border.
Britain is believed to have sold many such munitions, prohibited in over a hundred countries since the 1980s and 90s, to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – a Saudi ally. Yemen has been under airstrikes by Saudi Arabia since the regime in Riyadh launched its fatal campaign against the impoverished country on March 26, 2015, in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to Saudi-backed former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.