Mumbai Blasts 2011: What is IED?

Posted By: Abdul Nisar
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IEDs from Iraq war
Mumbai, Jul 14: Just few hours after the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, investigative agencies confirmed terror links behind the attack. The Home Ministry officials reported that terrorists used improvised explosive devices (IED) in three blasts that rocked the financial capital of India.

Three back-to-back blasts at Dadar, Zaveri Bazar and Opera House killed at least 18 people and injured more than 141.

Just after the confirmation of IEDs in the blasts, Indians started to search on web to know more about IED. IED is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action.

According to Wikipedia, IED may be constructed of conventional military explosives, such as an artillery round, attached to a detonating mechanism. IEDs may be used in terrorist actions or in unconventional warfare by guerrillas or commando forces in a theater of operations.

An IED is a bomb fabricated in an improvised manner incorporating destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic, or incendiary chemicals and designed to destroy or incapacitate personnel or vehicles.

The term Improvised Explosive Device comes from the British Army in the 1970s after the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) used bombs made from agricultural fertilizer and semtex smuggled from Libya to make highly effective boobytrap devices or remote-controlled bombs.

An IED typically consists of an explosive charge (potentially assisted by a booster charge), a detonator, and an initiation system, which is a mechanism that initiates the electrical charge that sets off the device. An IED designed for use against armored targets such as personnel carriers or tanks will be designed for armour penetration, by using either a shaped charge or an explosively formed penetrator.

IEDs were largely used in Belarussian Rail War launched by Belarussian guerrillas against the Germans during World War II. IEDs were also used during the Vietnam War by the Viet Cong against land- and river-borne vehicles as well as personnel.

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