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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 12:11 GMT
Iraq 'dog bombs' targeting troops
Unexploded munition checked by British disposal specialist
Ammunition technical officer Adrian Craddock checks a device
Bombs hidden in dead dogs are the latest danger facing UK troops in Iraq.

A dog's body was used recently as cover for a radio-controlled device detonated by the roadside in the city of Basra.

Ammunition technical officer Adrian Craddock, of the Royal Logistics Corps (RLC), said "the dog was put on top of it so the device was covered".

Military experts fear that the same tactic could be repeated, with explosive devices hidden inside other animal carcasses, such as goats.

Mr Craddock said: "It's not a common tactic but we have to be aware of it."

Fifty bombs have been found and defused since April by two British four-man disposal teams from the RLC.

The people making these are very skilled at what they do and they go to great lengths to hide the devices
Captain Wayne Davidson
Most of them have been uncovered on one of Basra's three main roads.

Many of the devices are set off with remote controls the bombers improvise from pagers or electronic car key systems.

Bombs usually consist of a metal container filled with ball bearings, nails and plastic explosives.

As well as dead dogs, bombs have been hidden in bin liners, hessian sacks, concrete blocks, drain pipes and roadside ditches - they are then detonated as British patrols pass by.

Captain Wayne Davidson, an RLC ammunition technical officer, said: "The people making these are very skilled at what they do and they go to great lengths to hide the devices.

"This really kicked off in October and the pace has been consistent since then. We can have four or five incidents in a week."




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