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Brits supply explosives to Taliban?

Some people living in Britain are supplying the Taliban with electronic devices to build roadside bombs for use in attacks on British forces in Afghanistan, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Feb 22, 2009 00:51 IST
Vijay Dutt

Some people living in Britain are supplying the Taliban with electronic devices to build roadside bombs for use in attacks on British forces in Afghanistan. The

Daily Telegraph

said the devices, used to activate bombs by remote control, were being sent to sympathisers in the region or carried in by volunteers who fly into Pakistan before crossing the border into Afghanistan.

The details were said to have emerged during a briefing to Foreign Secretary David Miliband during a two-day visit to the country earlier this week.

“We have found electronic components in devices used to target British troops that originally come from Britain,” an explosives officer was quoted as telling Miliband.

On Miliband asking how the components had reached Afghanistan, the officer was said to have replied they had either been sent from Britain, or carried in by a few people residing in Britain.

During a briefing, led by Brigadier Gordon Messenger, the Royal Marine commander of the British battlegroup in Helmand province, the Foreign Secretary was shown a series of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used in attacks on UK troops.
They ranged from mobile phones packed with explosives, which could kill or maim soldiers on foot patrol, to more sophisticated devices that could be used to attack military vehicles.

Experts who examined the devices were said to have found British-made electronic components, which enable the IEDs to be detonated by remote control.

The electronic devices included remote control units designed to fly model airplanes to advanced components that enable insurgents to conduct attacks.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said, “The insurgents in Afghanistan have changed their tactics; meaning they now use more and more improvised explosive devices than before. IEDs pose a significant threat to the safety of our forces and we are looking at ways we can improve protection from them.”