Bomb defuser Wissam Daoud treads carefully through salvaged Islamic State explosives at the abandoned house. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Times: Dismantle bombs — or die trying.
The life of a bomb defuser in Iraq
It is only days before he is due to return home on leave, and commanders have sent him behind enemy lines for one last mission: take some of the explosives the Iraqi army has salvaged from Islamic State and resow them like deadly seeds in the no man’s land they call ard al haram — the forbidden zone.
Islamic State infiltrators have been stealthily crossing through the deserted stretch of abandoned homes and barricaded businesses to mount attacks against Iraqi troops; the explosives are meant to stop them.
Like many young soldiers, Wissam Daoud, a deputy sergeant with the Iraqi Ministry of Interior’s Emergency Response Division, has been fighting alongside his army colleagues for three years to drive the militants out. He has tracked the evolution of their explosives through a half dozen offensives, and can identify them at a glance: the lemsawi, modified mortar rockets; kamala, which can be triggered remotely or by applying pressure; bottle bombs attached to doors; plasma bombs camouflaged as household items or debris.
His job is to render them harmless, or turn them back against the enemy, or die trying.
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WNU Editor: This is probably the most dangerous job in Iraq. There is a great video on this unit here .... Bomb defusers in Mosul (L.A. Times).