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Medicalcomplications Use of toxic chemicals in bombs new worry

By Ashfaq Yusufzai 2013-10-22
PESHAWAR, Oct 21: Taliban are now using more toxic chemicals in their explosive devices to inflict lethal injuries on the survivors of their bomb and suicide attacks, according to officials.

Quoting the relevant doctors, they said that the people who sustained injuries in Taliban attacks developed complications due to presence of toxins in the explosives.

`The survivors of Taliban`s bombs suffer from chronic wounds that leave scars on skin and don`t respond to antibiotics with proven efficacy in other surgical infections,` they told this scribe.

The officials said that the explosives used by Taliban left lasting effects on the injured people.

`Taliban have now mastered the science of manufacturing bombs that cause more than the intended casualties as they are imparted training regarding use of potassium, nitrogen, sugar, urea and glycerine etc in the bombs,` they said.

The officials said that terrorists used phosphorus in explosives that destroyed human cells. The Talibanmade bombs produced carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, which damaged the oxygen-binding capacity of the survivors, they said.

`The survivors may go into coma and end up dying due to stoppage of the oxygen-carrying process of victims when smoke caused by the explosives penetrates their bodies,` they added.

The officials said that the explosives used by Taliban in all attacks were pale, white or yellowish in colour, which meant that their source was the same.

`Not only healing of wounds caused by Taliban bombs is hard but the survivors often develop contractures and other physical deformities due to injuries, they added.

The forensic experts at health and police departments said that even deep wounds caused by gunshots or knives were treatable but the people injured in Taliban attacks had to live with lifelong deformities after recovery.

`The use of toxins in bombs worsens injuries that are not curable,` they said.

The experts said that easy availability of raw materials for bombs like magnesium, potassium and sodium made the task of Taliban easy.

`Even the survivors of bomb attacks with 10 per cent injuries die ultimately because the wounds become septic,` they said.

Officials said that Taliban manufactured bombs locally. `Taliban doesn`t manufacture bomb and explosives in North and South Waziristan agencies where they are based. They have the capability to manufacture bombs close to the area where these can be used.

Transportation of explosives through long routes can make Taliban vulnerable to being arrested by police, they said.

The official said that Taliban`s main source of making explosives was fertilisers in the market. `They have circulated booklets in Pashto, Urdu and Persian about bomb making,` they added. One of the manuals listed the equipment needed to build a bomb factory, they said.

Officials said that Taliban had been attacking government forces besides targeting marketplaces, CD and music shops and internet cafes and schools using their own explosives.

The health experts said that the only chance to reduce the quantum of physical injuries to the victims was to rush them immediately to hospitals to clean their wounds.

`These bombs and explosives weren`t so deadly about eight years ago when all these began, as these are today,` they said.