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Germany says cannot verify data on use of cluster munitions in Ukraine

Germany takes account of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, which spoke of the combat use of cluster munitions by the Ukrainian military near the city of Donetsk, but officials in Berlin cannot verify these charges for the time being, Steffen Seibert, the German government's official spokesman, said on Wednesday.

He indicated that the German government had also taken account of the refutations made by the authorities in Kiev, adding that the charges with using cluster munitions were very grave. "The use of cluster bombs is inhumane," Seibert said.

Ukrainian government forces used cluster munitions in populated areas in Donetsk city in early October 2014, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday, adding that use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon and may amount to war crimes.

HRW indicated that an employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross was killed on October 2 in an attack on Donetsk that included the use of cluster munition rockets.

[Source: Itar Tass, Berlin, 22Oct14]

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