British troops using laser 'Glow' to save civilians in Afghanistan

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London, Aug 15 (ANI): British troops are using a new type of laser 'GLOW' (Green Light Optical Warner), mounted under a standard SA80 rifle, which shines a strong green light in the face of suspects to reduce the chance of civilians being killed at checkpoints in Afghanistan.

"The green dot can be the size of a football. The person on the end of it knows they are being targeted," the Daily Express quoted a British soldier, as saying.

"The reaction is pretty quick and they tend to put their hands up or get away. In the past, warning shots have not worked and that has led to tragedies. Innovations like this are needed if we are going to win hearts and minds," he added.

Details of the new equipment emerged after the leaking of hundreds of classified documents showed British forces in Afghanistan were implicated in the killing of at least 26 civilians, including women and children, and the wounding of a further 20.

The British troops are using it at roadblocks and checkpoints, which have become favourite targets for suicide bombers, and are real danger zones for Afghan civilians. escribed as an "escalation of force option", GLOW can work at close range, where it will emit a wide beam that also dazzles the approaching civilian, or at longer range where it provides a narrower beam.

Described as an "escalation of force option", GLOW can work at close range, where it will emit a wide beam that also dazzles the approaching civilian, or at longer range where it provides a narrower beam, the paper reported. "The narrow beam diameter is about half a metre at 50 metres. The wide beam will fill a car windscreen, a pulse setting makes the beam flash, so it becomes even more obvious," Communications Director Denise Clarke of manufacturer company, Thales, said.

Clarke also said that British forces have used GLOW in at least 20 confrontations when shooting might otherwise have been the only option. (ANI)

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