The US has suspended the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, in response to the Sunni kingdom's aerial war against Shi'ite rebels in Yemen.
A US-based Foreign Policy magazine, last week quoted an unnamed senior US official as saying that a hold was placed on such shipments following reports that the Saudi-led coalition battling Houthi rebels used the controversial munitions in civilian areas, Voice of America reported.
According to the report, the suspension includes CBU-105 cluster bombs manufactured by the US-based firm Textron Systems.
The US move comes just weeks after the rights organization Human Rights Watch published a report detailing the use of cluster bombs near civilian areas in Yemen, located on the southern end of the Arabian peninsula.
That report builds on HRW claims in 2015 that the Saudi-led coalition used cluster rockets in at least seven attacks in Yemen's northwestern Hajja governate, killing and wounding dozens of civilians.
HRW advocacy director Mary Wareham told Voice of America that Yemeni villagers were collecting unexploded cluster cannisters and turning them over to HRW researchers, who then visited target areas to collect their own evidence.
It said those bombs hit targets in at least four different locations in the war-torn country.
The United Nations says 6,500 people have been killed in the fighting, including more than 3,200 civilians.
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