Dec 17, 2009 - In the first known US attack in Yemen in 7 years, at least one cruise missile loaded with cluster bombs hit the village of al-Majala, Abyan province in south Yemen. Allegedly targeting an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula training camp, the missile instead killed 58 people. 41 were civilians including 12 pregnant women and 22 children. Three civilians were later killed by cluster bombs. Six names, ages and relationships from one family, are embroidered in this work.

It is unusual to get a report containing the victims names. Amnesty International released forensically-verified photos of the remains of a US cruise missile designed to carry cluster bombs, and of cluster bomb fragments. The photographs enable the positive identification of damaged missile parts, which appear to be from the payload, mid-body, aft-body and propulsion sections of a BGM-109D Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile. This type of missile, launched from a warship or submarine, is designed to carry a payload of 166 cluster submunitions (bomblets) which each explode into over 200 sharp steel fragments that can cause injuries up to 150m away. An incendiary material inside the bomblet also spreads fragments of burning zirconium designed to set fire to nearby flammable objects.

The first Cruise Missile Family is here.

 

Cruise Missile Family #2, 27" H x 27" Embroidery on silk & velvet