Wimbish soldiers tackle unexploded bombs

PUBLISHED: 16:16 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:41 31 May 2010

A controlled explosion of dangerous, unexploded munitions by members of 33 Engineer Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Photo: British Army

A controlled explosion of dangerous, unexploded munitions by members of 33 Engineer Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Photo: British Army

BOMB disposal experts based at the Carver Barracks in Wimbish, Saffron Walden, have helped to destroy nearly 70 unexploded munitions in Afghanistan. Members of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) assisted the Afghan National Army in destro

A member of 33 Engineer Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal prepares the unexploded munitions for destruction. Photo: British Army

BOMB disposal experts based at the Carver Barracks in Wimbish, Saffron Walden, have helped to destroy nearly 70 unexploded munitions in Afghanistan.

Members of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) assisted the Afghan National Army in destroying the dangerous weapons in a series of controlled explosions.

The items included 107mm rockets, mortar shells, anti-vehicle and anti-personnel mines, rocket-propelled grenade warheads and propellant, recoilless-rifle rounds and projectiles.

Lance Corporal Thomas Watson said: "These items could have caused some severe injuries or death to anyone. Even in the places where local people are lucky enough to know that unexploded ordnance exists, having to steer clear prevents rural workers from farming their land - making their lives even more difficult."

The disposal of the munitions took place in the at the police headquarters in Lashkar Gah and at the Kandahar Gate area in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

The Afghan National Security Forces have been increasingly successful at seizing and finding weapons, munitions and unexploded ordnance items which are used by the insurgency.

As part of continuing efforts to make these items safe, the soldiers from Saffron Walden were called in to assist in the destruction of the more dangerous and unstable items.

Captain Ben Sinclair said: "The Afghan Security Forces increasingly have to deal with these potentially deadly weapons and unexploded munitions to protect the local population and we were happy to assist them in the safe destruction of nearly 70 items.

"These sorts of munitions were old, damaged and unstable - they posed a significant threat to local civilians who could easily have come across them during their normal daily business. In addition, such weapons could have been used by the insurgency in the form of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) - the sort of indiscriminate tactics which have been killing and maiming Afghan and International Security Assistance Force security forces but, all too often, Afghan civilians too.

"Developing the capability of the Afghan Security Forces to deal with IEDs and unexploded ordnance forms part of the long-term strategy for Helmand, working with them in this sort of activity is a key part of that process.

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