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Taliban's home-made IED proves challenging to NATO

DEADLY WEAPON: The IED in Afghanistan.   | Photo Credit: Corporal Barry Lloyd RLC

The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that the Taliban often uses, is proving to be deadly and and challenging for the NATO in Afghanistan as over 490 soldiers of the alliance have been killed this year. According to iCasualties, a website tracking NATO-led forces' casualties in Afghanistan, 80 soldiers of the alliance had been killed in August this year as against 77 in August 2009.

The increase in troop fatalities has forced many NATO-member states to review their military mission in Afghanistan and begin advocating a pull-out.

Holland has already begun withdrawing troops from the militancy-plagued country. Canada would not extend its military mission beyond 2011. Since launching the war on the Taliban regime in October 2001, according to iCasualties, 2,061 soldiers, 1,273 of them American, have been killed.

A survey conducted in the U.S. recently, according to media reports, indicates that 52 per cent of Americans are against the war in Afghanistan. In Canada, 80 per cent of Canadians want the military mission to end in 2011.

The IED is proving to be a simple weapon used in a modern military hardware era. Although the militants use anti-tank mines from unknown sources, they often use the IED against well-equipped modern NATO troops.

The militants place explosive devices, mostly ammonium nitrate in a jar, a tin can and a pressure cooker and plant them by the roadside to target the security forces. Interestingly, the equipment used by NATO forces does not have a success rate that can be talked about when it comes to spotting and defusing the lethal IEDs during search operations. The suicide vest and a modified container of explosives are also Taliban inventions. In a bid to reduce casualties, the government had banned the sale of ammonium nitrate, the chemical fertilizer used by farmers, in bulk.


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 8:32:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/Talibans-home-made-IED-proves-challenging-to-NATO/article15904236.ece

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