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U.S. Marines use white phosphorus in Hijudai

The Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps used white phosphorus in their live-shell drills at the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forcefs Hijudai training site in Oita Prefecture in February.

The Kyushu Defense Bureau stated to Akahata that the U.S. Marines had used gM825 smoke shellsh, and that the U.S. side said that the M825 shell contains small amounts of white phosphorus.

Enfnyu Takeo, member of the Oita Prefectural Peace Committee, who recorded the M825 firing exercise on his video camera on February 3, said, gM825s and 155mm howitzers were fired alternately. The dried grass caught fire. Any escalation of the live-shell drills must not be condoned.h

White phosphorus is a ghastly weapon. Packed into an artillery shell, white phosphorus explodes and rains balls of flaming chemicals. When it touches a human body, it can burn up not only skin and flesh, but also bone. The U.S. forces used phosphorus bombs in Iraq, particularly in Fallujah in 2004, and Israel used during its attack on Gaza from 2008 to 2009. The use of white phosphorus caused horrendous injuries and substantial damage to a large number of civilian lives and property. The international community continues to condemn the use of white phosphorus.

- Akahata, March 3, 2010


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