Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

80 pct of bombs in Afghan war 'made from banned fertiliser'

by Staff Writers
Kabul (AFP) July 12, 2010
The overwhelming majority of the bombs used to devastating effect by the Taliban in Afghanistan are made from a fertiliser that has been banned by the Kabul government, the defence ministry said Monday.

Ammonium nitrate is the basic ingredient of 80 percent of the crude bombs that are killing record numbers of foreign troops and Afghan civilians each year, the ministry said.

The bombs, known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are cheap and easy to make, and are widely deployed by the insurgents in their war against the government of President Hamid Karzai, now almost nine years old.

General Mohammad Shafi Baheer, deputy director of the ministry's planning department, said that until 2007, IEDs were made from leftover ordnance, littered across the country during the Soviet occupation of the 1980s.

"In 2009, 80 percent of materials needed to make bombs were ammonium nitrate and potassium nitrate, which are found in fertilizers," he told reporters.

By 2008, the use of old mortars, rockets, bombs and other military explosives in IEDs had dropped to 38 percent, by 2009 to 20 percent, he said.

Under pressure from his international partners, Karzai last December banned the use, import and production of ammonium nitrate fertilizers.

Ashton Carter, US undersecretary of defence for acquisition, technology and logistics, said last week that Afghan authorities were tightening the border to restrict the flow of fertilizer into Afghanistan from neighbouring Pakistan.

Most of the ammonium nitrate, or IEDs made from it, were now coming in from Pakistan, he said.

Pakistan has long been implicated in violence in Afghanistan. Afghan and US officials have blamed Pakistani intelligence and the military for sheltering and collaborating with militant groups based on its side of the border.

A June UN report marked an "alarming" 94 percent increase in IED incidents in the first four months of this year compared to 2009. The military says intensifying efforts against the Taliban are being matched by more attacks.

Afghan officials have blamed a number of major attacks on militant groups that have carved out havens in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt.

Afghanistan's national security adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta has asked Pakistan to take action against Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the Haqqani network.

The United States is set to deliver three billion dollars worth of equipment and personnel aimed at countering the Taliban-made bombs.

Afghan authorities have set up a IED detection and defusing school to train Afghan soldiers and policemen as part of the capacity-building efforts aimed at helping the country take on its own security.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
News From Across The Stans

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Commentary: A three-front war?
Washington (UPI) Jul 12, 2010
There is no better illustration of the futility of the $1 trillion Iraq war than news photos of a long line of gasoline tankers lined up bumper to bumper as they leave Iraq to enter Iran. The U.N. Security Council decision to strengthen economic measures against Iran and U.S. President Barack Obama signing into law draconian new legislative sanctions against Iran's nuclear weapons ambit ... read more

PSLV Launch Successful With 5 Satellites Placed In Orbit

ISRO To Launch More Satellites This Year

ILS Successfully Launches The Echostar XV

PSLV Countdown For C15 Launch Begins

Microsoft And NASA Bring Mars Down To Earth Through The WorldWide Telescope

Opportunity Has Two More Drives

Spirit Still Silent

Opportunity Keeps On Driving To Endeavour Crater

Apollo 16: Footsteps Under High Sun

NASA releases videogame, Moonbase Alpha

Man In The Moon Has 'Graphite Whiskers'

India Hopes To Launch Chandrayaan-2 By 2013

Course Correction Keeps New Horizons On Path To Pluto

Scientists See Billions Of Miles Away

System Tests, Science Observations And A Course Correction

Coordinated Stargazing

Recipes For Renegade Planets

First Directly Imaged Planet Confirmed Around Sun-Like Star

VLT Detects First Superstorm On Exoplanet

Earth-Like Planets May Be Ready For Their Close-Up

Musk goes public on divorce

NASA Preparing For DM-2 Test: Now That's Powerful Information

NASA Tests Engine Technology To Assist With Future Space Vehicle Landings

Aerojet Propellant-Saving Xenon Ion Thruster Exceeds 30,000 Hours

China Contributes To Space-Based Information Access A Lot

China Sends Research Satellite Into Space

China eyes Argentina for space antenna

Seven More For Shenzhou

Rosetta Spacecraft Returns Unique Glimpses Of Asteroid Lutetia

Rockbreaking In Space

European probe Rosetta successfully flies by asteroid: ESA

Hayabusa Contains A Hint Of Dust

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement