Pakistan uses giant scanners to stop truck suicide bombers | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan uses giant scanners to stop truck suicide bombers

world Updated: Apr 14, 2010 23:40 IST
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Police in Pakistan have deployed two giant bomb detectors on roads into Islamabad in their latest efforts to stop suicide truck bombers striking the capital.

This is the first time Pakistani authorities have used the Chinese-built devices to protect a city since Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked groups went on a bombing campaign, killing more than 3,200 people in three years.

Checkpoints have mushroomed over the last year in the capital, where a suicide truck bomb demolished part of the five-star Marriott Hotel in September 2008 killing 60 people, and there are frequent alerts about possible attacks.

Police say 1,000 officers are manning more than 90 checkpoints at entry points, along main roads, outside sensitive targets and in residential areas.

The scanners resemble giant airport security arches, mounted on wheels so they can pass back and forth over stationary vehicles.

On a dusty road outside the capital, the pale grey arch of one scanner, standing more than 15-feet high, checked a brightly painted truck.

Inside the control booth, Muhammad Afzal, the officer in charge, kept a close eye on a bank of computers analysing the image. “The scanners have a 100-per cent accuracy rate,” he told AFP. “We detected 20,000 bullets in a private vehicle yesterday,” he added.

It turned out the ammunition belonged to the paramilitary and was being legally transported.