Troops step up efforts to counter IED attacks on convoys

Following increased Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks Amisom troops are being trained on how to detect the device that recently claimed lives of seven Kenya Defense Force (KDF) and left two injured two.

Major (Rtd) Ray Nzano an associate operations officer with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has been training KDF troops on search capability, IED disposal and medical attention.

There have been thirteen IED attacks targeting Amisom troops in Sector II since January 13, according to Nzano.

Four of the IEDs were reinforced with small firearm ambushes while six of them were explosives. Two IEDs exploded while one failed to detonate.

The explosives so far used are classified as directional which are placed and directed at a particular target, especially resupply and administrative convoys, laid IEDs are placed shortly before VIPs pass by and one triggerman device.

Victim operated IEDs popularly known as suicide bombers, command IEDs and time IEDs are the most common form of explosives used in Somalia, according to UNMAS.

In the recent past, Amisom convoys are being targeted by remote-controlled IEDs which are manufactured from motorcycle alarms smuggled into Somalia.

UNMAS has been offering training and technical support including metal detectors, Remote Operated Vehicles night vision devices evidence collection kits, sniper dogs, logistical vehicles and global positioning to Amisom troops to counter IEDs.

Harbinger IED detectors are the latest gadgets to be introduced in the field for route clearance. Sector II commander Brig Joakim Mwamburi says IED platers have been mutating but Amisom is up to the task with the support of UNMAS.



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