Kiwi troops destroy Russian bomb in Afghanistan

WN 10-005-050: The 100kg Russian aircraft bomb found by a village after heavy rain, lies in it's final resting place with EOD charges attached.
The 100kg Russian aircraft bomb found after heavy rain, lies in it's final resting place with EOD charges attached (WN 10-005-050).

21 June 2010

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) were called out to the location of a 100kg Russian aircraft bomb threatening both a village and the World Heritage Site of the largest Bamyan Buddha last month.

Recent seasonal heavy rains in Bamyan Province had uncovered the severely corroded bomb next to a town well.

“Disposing of a bomb such as this has inherent risks at the best of times, but with important landmarks and a village close at hand the problems are compounded,” said EOD Officer Lieutenant Nick Fisher.

The EOD team gained permission from the local government and non-government agencies to dispose of the bomb, and began digging a series of large holes as a protection measure for the surroundings and to prevent ground shock.

The Afghan National Police evacuated a one kilometer radius of village, which was some 400 families, and a special A-frame and trolley were built by the EOD team to lift the bomb from the washout and transport it to the disposal site, using long ropes.

The bomb was moved into the area of protective earthworks and specialized charges were placed on it.  These are designed to fracture the casing of the bomb and expose the explosive inside which is then disposed of by burning. This allows for the disposal of ordnance without causing a full scale explosion.

“It all went according to plan and 16 hours after work started the bomb was successfully disposed of with no damage to any of the important sites in the area.  We are grateful to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, UNESCO and the local Afghan National Police for their assistance during this task,” said Lieutenant Fisher.


Further photos are available on request.

NZDF roles in Afghanistan:

  • 107 personnel in the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan Province
  • Two non-commissioned officers assisting with the training of the Afghan National Army.
  • Five officers in International Security Assistance Force headquarters positions
  • One military liaison officer with the United Nations Assistance Mission.
  • SAS personnel in Kabul.
  • Ten personnel make up the National Support Element at Bagram Airbase. 

There are currently 665 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed on 14 peacekeeping operations, UN missions and defence exercises around the world.

For more information please contact Nicole Munro, Senior Communications Advisor 021 569 148

This page was last reviewed on 19 January 2011.