US gives Pakistan 50 ‘world class’ explosive detectors

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Islamabad, July 19 (IANS) The US Embassy here announced the provision of over 50 “world class” Fido X3 explosive device detectors to the Pakistan Army on Wednesday, local media reported.

The Fido — a hand-held device allowing Pakistani soldiers to determine in less than 10 seconds if an item contains explosive material — was delivered to the army by the US Embassy’s Office of the Defence Representative Pakistan (ODRP), Dawn reported, citing an embassy release.

The new Fido devices are part of an ongoing $128 million initiative funded by the US government to help the Pakistani Army counter illegal explosives.

“These Fidos will be added to those previously provided to the Pakistan Army currently used in various counter-terrorism operations throughout the country,” the statement said.

ODRP chief Brigadier General Kenneth Ekman said the “advanced system improves on previous versions used to great effect by the Pakistan Army”.

He added: “A primary way to stop a bomb is to catch the bomb maker or attacker before he puts the device in position. Keeping explosives out of the wrong hands helps everyone.”

A counter-explosive assistance programme undertaken by both countries includes provision of armoured vehicles, bomb disposal robots, training, and the construction of a laboratory for the detailed analysis of explosive samples, the US Embassy release said.

“The US and Pakistan are also partners in a programme to support amputees,” it added.

This partnership will provide specialised medical equipment and training to allow the army medical technicians to manufacture prosthetic limbs to help improve the quality of an amputee’s life.

Brigadier General Ekman also highlighted a partnership between the US and Pakistan Army in ongoing efforts at combating terrorism, particularly in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, the handout read.

–IANS

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