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SFOR dogs swept Kosevo Stadium

by Rune Moklebust

First published in SFOR Informer #8, April 16, 1997

Photo 1T.JPG (10786 bytes)Sarajevo - Two days before Pope John Paul II entered the Kosevo Stadium April 13, Spanish and US patrol explosive detector dog teams swept the stadium for explosives. "We are here to assist the Federation police," said US Kennels Master SFC Donald Pembrecht. "They requested help to make the stadium safe for the Pope, and we are assisting them with two Spanish and three American dogs. The teams are well experienced from high profile missions, and we look at this an ordinary task."

The local police were in charge of the sweep and decided which areas to be checked. According to the dog handlers a check of such an area takes quite a time, and they expected at least 10 hours of searching. "It was difficult because of all the people working inside the stadium," said Sgt. Manuel Varela. "The dogs then get more interested in the people than the explosives, but I think we have to be patient." When the Pope arrived in Sarajevo, the dog teams were on alert in case the Federation authorities needed security backup.

[Spanish soldier]

[US soldier]

[Papal visit]