KABUL, Afghanistan – Turkish and Greek explosive ordnance disposal, investigation and bomb sniffing dog teams work 24-hours-a-day, 7‑days-a-week assisting Afghan forces as they protect Kabul from insurgents.
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They’re continuing a tradition in which ISAF explosive ordnance teams have rendered safe 392 devices in Kabul, including booby traps, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and abandoned explosives, since 2002.
The teams respond quickly to render safe explosive devices and also teach these specialized skills to their Afghan partners.
“One who is aware of the dangers of the explosives will have the chance of putting these dangers aside and will do his job in that manner,” said 1st Lt. Ersun Ozdemir, chief of Turkish EOD teams. “The more the ANSF are successful in this area the more their self confidence will be encouraged.”
Keeping the nearly three million residents of metropolitan Kabul safe is an enormous task, according to Ozdemir.
Afghanistan, Angola and Cambodia have suffered 85 per cent of the world’s land-mine casualties, according to United Nations Children’s Fund statistics. Land mines and improvised explosive devices are two of the main causes of injuries inflicted on the Afghan people.
“The Afghan population doesn’t know how dangerous these explosives are,” said Ozdemir. “It is difficult to make all people conscious [of the threat].”
The lieutenant said the large number of UXOs in the Kabul region is made even more troublesome because people have learned to live amongst the dangers. As an example, he said in June two children were injured when they caused a UXO to explode by throwing stones at it.
ISAF uses radio broadcasts to remind civilians to stay away from any type of explosives, and continues to build the number of trained Afghan forces capable of performing EOD techniques.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases