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19 Jan, 2007 03:35

Russian explosive engineers on high alert

Russian explosive engineers on high alert

Russian security forces are adjusting to new conditions, after a high terrorist alert was announced in Russia. Special troops know how to look for bombs in the wild but the frontline in the battle against terrorism has moved to busy streets.

Sappers have been clearing mines at battlefields for decades. But only recently they realized that the enemy could be very different from what they’ve been trained to fight.

“Twenty years ago our enemies were NATO and the United States. But the world has changed. Now our enemy is terrorism,” said Vasily Kondratyuk, military engineer.

Such work requires new skills and new equipment, capable of detecting cell phones, alarm clocks and other gadgets used to set off bombs.

While the terrorist threat is relatively new, some old techniques have come in handy. Sniffer dogs are not only effective at finding explosives – they’re also much less intimidating than their armed masters.

Explosives are the favorite weapon for terrorists around the world, including Russia. With their help, terrorists claimed more than 900 lives in the country over the past decade. And as these drills continue, police in major Russian cities are on high alert – to make sure that the death toll doesn't rise any further.