Friday, May 3, 2013

Roadside bombs: 'The deadliest weapon' in Afghan war

Sgt Abdullah Rezai, of the Afghan National Army, has finished his bomb disposal training    
The roadside bomb killed thousands in Afghanistan last year, stifled the economy and created a climate of fear - yet its capacity to wreak destruction and havoc only seems to be increasing.

The exact toll is difficult to calculate but the interior ministry says the majority of 1,800 Afghan national police killed last year, died as a result of roadside bombs.

In addition, about 900 Afghan National Army soldiers were killed by roadside bombs - averaging three soldiers a day, according to General Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the defence ministry.

Over the last two years, the insurgents' focus on roadside bombs - also known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) - has gained momentum.

They no longer want to take on Afghan and Nato forces face-to-face, says Haji Abdul Mutalib, district governor of Marjah in Helmand province.

Instead, they are packing TNT and plastic explosives - as well as metal and ball bearings - into their bombs to make them more powerful and more destructive, he says.

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