Pope Hopeful on Cluster Bombs

GENOA, Italy -- Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday said he hoped a Dublin conference on cluster bombs will outlaw the deadly weapons by agreeing on a strong international convention.

"I hope that, thanks to the responsibility of all the participants, a strong and credible international instrument can be achieved," he said during a visit to the northwestern Italian city of Genoa.

Representatives of more than 100 nations gather in Dublin on Monday to finalize an anti-cluster munitions treaty.

Cluster munitions open in mid-air and scatter as many as several hundred "bomblets" over wide areas. They often fail to explode, creating virtual mine fields that can kill or injure anyone who comes across them.