White phosphorus is a highly efficient smoke-producing agent, burning quickly and causing an instant bank of smoke. As a result, smoke-producing white phosphorus munitions are very common, particularly as smoke grenades for infantry, loaded in grenade launchers on tanks and other armored vehicles, or as part of the ammunition allotment for artillery or mortars. These create smoke screens to mask movement, position or the origin of fire from the enemy. White phosphorus is used in bombs, artillery, mortars, and short-range missiles which burst into burning flakes of phosphorus upon impact. The use of white phosphorus as an obscurant is legal, as well as use as an incendiary weapon against military targets .
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