Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Legal & illegal check points

Today was an action packed day.

After learning what to do when you've just lost a limb from stepping on a mine, we were exposed to various forms of ordnance - including sitting in a bunker when a five kilogram bomb is detonated a mere 15 meters from you. I can tell you it's full on.

The blast is so powerful, you have to keep your mouth open to compensate the pressure. Now this was "just" five kilos. A suicide car bomb would most likely have far more explosives. I don't even want to begin to imagine what that means.

On the road to Karsbach for another attempt to meet and interview Rhönland civilians, we're confronted with an illegal check point. We thought it would be a great idea to carry some local currency and had fabricated some Rhönland dollar notes. But as it turned out this proved to be a disastrous idea. The local war lord was highly offended when our team leader presented our money.

"Are you taking the piss?" Not a good start to the negotiations.

The next check point was legal. We were temporarily detained and I was forced to take a picture with the head of the check point- a certain Mr Wujew, with his arms around me. I suspected that this would mean trouble for us down the line.

After a short detention we were allowed to move on, but only managed to drive a few metres when a suicide car exploded just at the entrance of the check point. Now, it was all about applying the first aid knowledge we had acquired in the morning.

In this carnage we had to deal with the full spectrum of injuries from acute shock, serious head injuries and a pretty disgusting amputated arm. Now, you might be wondering why there're not more pictures to show. Well firstly I was flat out doing first aid and throughout the course we were under strict instructions not to photograph anything during the entire week.

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