Bombs Force Troops to Hoof It

Fearsome devices call vehicle defenses into question
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2007 1:06 PM CDT
Bombs Force Troops to Hoof It
U.S. soldiers of the 2nd brigade, 12th Infantry Division, company D, patrol the Dora neighborhood in the southern Baghdad, Iraq, on Saturday, June 16, 2007. Smoke in the background came from burning trash. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Roadside bombs are now so powerful and plentiful in Baghdad that US soldiers are leaving their vehicles behind and patrolling on foot. Militant-planted explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, can blow through the strongest Humvees and tanks, and the decision to "dismount" from the vehicles is coming from both commanders and front-line troops, the LA Times reports.

The copper-plated weapons are more numerous than ever and have increased in power even as defenses improve. But more vehicle armor means more metal for bombs to transform into shrapnel, and many troops feel safer outside. Said a sergeant, “When I walk on my feet, I don't have to worry about being blown up. In the vehicle, I have to." (Read more Humvees stories.)

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