Ministry of Defence (MoD) denials regarding banned, British-supplied cluster munitions found in Yemen are little more than a “smokescreen of wildly implausible claims,” according to Amnesty International.
The human rights charity wrote to the MoD after defence minister Philip Dunne told parliament a UK-made BL-755 bomb found in a village in Yemen had not been dropped by the Saudi coalition.
Responding to an urgent parliamentary question, both Dunne and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond suggested the banned munition, which may have been bought as long ago as the 1970s, was dropped in an earlier conflict.
Dunne argued: “It is unclear from the evidence provided thus far that the munitions came from the current conflict.
“We assess that no UK-supplied cluster weapons have been used.”
Amnesty, which carried out inspections in the area and first exposed the presence of the cluster bombs, rejected the claims.