May 28, 2022

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What is a dart shell, and is its use suspected in boutique?

In Bautza, steel darts were found on the ground by residents, but were also found on bodies. This unrestricted weapon was used during the First World War.

Armed darts? In the Botswana region – the city-sacrifice of the war in Ukraine, in which many civilians were killed and some were tortured – the presence of small metal spears was observed.

“We have found a number of very delicate nail-like objects on the bodies of both men and women,” Vladislav Byrovsky, a Ukrainian medical examiner, told the British newspaper. Defender. He adds that many of his colleagues have made similar observations on other bodies in the area.

Journalists of Washington Post Those who were at the spot also noticed that there were these sharp pieces of metal a few centimeters in size on the ground.

“If you look in my garden, you can find a lot of them,” a resident of Bautcha told them.

He says he discovered these sharp shells planted on the roof of his car in late March, after an intense bombing.

“Bombs explode in the air and darts are thrown”

These darts are 2 to 4 cm long steel grenades, with a sharp tip at the front and four fins at the rear. This type of weapon is not new and was already in use during World War I. Australian National Memorial Website; According to the same source, they were first used by the French in 1914, followed by the English and Germans.

At the time, “darts were dropped in large numbers from planes or airships, with 20 to 250 darts in each bottle”.

Steel aerial dart made in Germany during the First World War
Steel aerial dart made in Germany during World War I © Australian War Memorial

Today, we are talking about thousands of darts fired simultaneously into shells. “Tart bombs, usually fired from tanks, range from 5,000 to 8,000. The bombs explode in the air and the spears are conical in an area of ​​approximately 300 to 100 meters,” he said. Presented at Amnesty International in 2014. These weapons are used “in the following infantry attacks or against forces operating in open ground” and are dangerous.

“The principle is to fill the shells with thousands of small darts 2 to 4 centimeters long with small paddles. You shoot the shell at a great distance and then the shell explodes at a certain height and spreads very fast. These darts with energy can, roughly, water three football fields,” he said. Announces on CNews Bruno Clermont, Air Corps General.

The use of these explosives is approved

Weapons that can cause great harm to civilians, but they are not banned by international traditions.

“We are talking about war-approved ammunition, ammunition that is in service in some armies, not in the French army,” explains General Bruno Clermont.

In 2014, at the beginning of the Donbass war in Ukraine, this type of darts was found on wounded people. Amnesty International also pointed the finger at Israel for its use of these deadly weapons. “These weapons were used by Israel, especially during Operation Cost Lead (2008-2009), which killed civilians, including children,” the group said.

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X-ray of a person injured by a dart in Donetsk, Ukraine on October 22, 2014
X-ray of a person injured by a tortoise in Donetsk, Ukraine on October 22, 2014 © DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP

In 2008, Fadel Shana, a 24-year-old cinematographer working for Reuters, was killed by “several spears that exploded from a shell fired by an Israeli tank.” Says Reuters. The shooting killed eight civilians between the ages of 12 and 20 and injured seven people between the ages of 10 and 18. The Israeli military decided the shooting was justified because at the time the military believed the camera was a weapon.

“Do not use in densely populated areas”

“Unless international humanitarian law specifically prohibits darts, people should never use them in densely populated areas,” Amnesty International recalls.

In fact, any approved weapon may be in the guise of a war crime. In the case of Ukraine and Botswana, the use of these spears is not prohibited, and their use by the Russian military may be isolated, as it appears to target civilians, which is prohibited.

According to the rules of Roman law The International Criminal Court (ICC) has declared war crimes to be “deliberately directed at civilians who do not take part in the war or directly involved in the war” or “deliberately directing attacks on civilians”, that is, objects that have no military purpose.

In Putza, investigators are gathering evidence and information on a number of war crimes that have been charged following the Russian invasion. Its purpose is to identify and punish the perpetrators of these acts.

Salome Vincent

Salome Vincent BFMTV journalist