IEDs - the weapon of choice
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 6:23p.m.
By Michael Morrah
The improvised explosive device, or IED, that killed three New Zealand soldiers overnight contained more than 20 kilograms of explosives.
A former New Zealand commander who's worked in Bamiyan says the bombmakers are constantly coming up with more sophisticated techniques to injure and kill.
IEDs are the biggest killers in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan alone, more than 16,000 have been cleared or detonated in the past year.
"The ways that they are detonated can be numerous," says Richard Hall, former New Zealand Defence Force commander. "It could be a pressure plate, it could be a time device or it could be some form of remote device using radio, microwave, radar or whatever to set off the explosive."
Most modern military vehicles, including the kiwi Humvees, have technology to block remote signals to IEDS. But Mr Hall says the devices and detonators are always being modified.
"There is a constant battle of technology that is going on. The insurgents are watching our drills, our procedures, in the same way we are watching theirs."
IEDS can be made out of anything from fertiliser to plastic explosives, or more commonly in Afghanistan, abandoned ammunition, and can be planted in the ground or detonated from moving vehicles.
Security expert Darren Morton of Patronus International says they're a weapon of choice for insurgents.
"Because they are low cost, they're extremely easy to manufacture into an explosive device... they have maximum devastation at the scene, so could quite easily take out a military tank."
"This was a very large bomb," says Prime Minister John Key. "I mean, over 20 kilos of explosives as we understand it, so it's a very significant bomb."
The remnants of that bomb and any other IEDS found in the aftermath of the massive blast are now being examined.
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21/08/2012 8:26:18 a.m.
Just a correction on your article Michael when you stated - "the biggest killers in both Afghanistan and Iraq" is in fact the Americans! not IED. @Grant why are NZ troops even in Afghanistan??
21/08/2012 7:25:38 a.m.
@WEIYA What do you think our troops are trained to do? YES they are trained to go to war, pulling our troops out is exactly what loses a war, ask the French. Pulling them out is NOT the answer, that is exactly what the Ali baba would like to see. The answer is to eliminate the threat in the Kiwi area of operation. Baymian is normally a low-Medium threat area, and it has obviously changed to a HIGH threat area, which indicates that INSURGENTS not from the province have infiltrated. Delete the intruders, you know our People and our Soldiers would have established a primo rapport with the locals of Bamian over the years of operating in the is Area....WHY throw away all that hard work? Finish the job, that's what us Kiwis do!
Thank you- NZPSD 9 years NZ infantry-8 years Private Security Iraq and Afghanistan
20/08/2012 10:13:48 p.m.
Hi As soon as I heard the news about 3 of our soliders who were killed in Afganastan I fully understand the pain of how the families feel anout loosinfg their loved ones.Plus I do have a friend that I know her brother serves as NZDF my advice is that I wish John Key can arrange the time about when he would withdraw our troops home from there and it is time fom them to come home ASAP rather than 2013 next yearthe more they withdraw them to come home are much safer than later.
20/08/2012 9:56:53 p.m.
@Grant -because the money that could pay for safer MRAP vehicles for our Warriors is being used by the National Government in NZ to settle Maori land claims so National can win again at the next election - don't they teach that at Military school?
20/08/2012 9:26:18 p.m.
Humvees are well known death traps in Afghanistan. The LAVs are not much better. Why were the soldiers not equipped with MRAP vehicles?
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