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    Russia calls for independent investigation on cluster bomb use

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    MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian foreign minister said Friday that Russia supports an independent investigation into Israel's alleged use of cluster bombs in Lebanon.

    "I believe that in the interests of everyone and for the sake of turning this page, it is necessary to hold such an investigation, to determine the facts and to not leave any disagreements," Sergei Lavrov said.

    Israel's military operations in Lebanon began July 12 after the radical Islamic group Hizbollah killed three Israeli servicemen and captured two others in a cross-border raid.

    Before the August 14 ceasefire, Israeli military operations claimed the lives of about 1,000 Lebanese civilians, forced nearly a quarter of the country's population to flee their homes, and demolished large parts of the country's infrastructure.

    "In the last days and hours of the Lebanese war, when the UN resolution 1701 was already coordinated, many questions arose concerning how the war was waged and why such intensity was displayed after the resolution had been concluded," Lavrov said.

    He said Israel claimed that all the weapons it used in Lebanon conformed to international norms and conventions.

    "An investigation is being held now by request of the Lebanese authorities," the minister said. "I believe it will do no harm if an independent source will help to clarify the situation."

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