Canadian soldiers destroy illegal weapons
SLt Petra Smith
First published in
SFOR Informer#154, December 19, 2002
SFOR soldiers from the First Battalion, Princess Patricia's
Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI) Battle Group destroyed three
tons of illegal weapons at a steel foundry in Zenica, Dec.
3. The weapons, which have been collected by the Canadian
Battle Group, included small arms, machine guns, anti-tank
weapons, mortars, handguns and others.
Zenica - "The destruction of these illegal weapons represents
our commitment to providing a safe and secure environment,"
said Lt. Col. Craig King, Commanding Officer, 1 PPCLI Battle
Group. "The melting down of these weapons is a clear
and significant demonstration of the Bosnian people's commitment
to working with SFOR for a better future."
Melting in a foundry
The process to melt down the weapons took about six hours
and involved placing them in a forge at temperatures of up
to 1,600 degrees Celsius, melting the weapons into liquid.
This process ensures that the illegal weapons cannot be reused.
"This was an important operation, since this process
ensured that these weapons will not fall into the hands of
people who should not have them, including children,"
said Capt. Eric Richard, Joint Military Affairs officer, 1
PPCLI Battle Group. "We used tremendous vigilance to
ensure that all weapons were transported safely to the foundry
and that they were all destroyed."
Canadian soldiers and local police continue the ongoing task,
called Operation Harvest, by going door-to-door and gathering
weapons that have been left over from the war.
"We are pleased with the response of the Bosnian people
to Operation Harvest," said King. "All weapons collected
in the future will also be destroyed in a similar manner."
The 1 PPCLI Battle Group has collected about 1,000 rounds
of ammunition, 20 small arms, 60 grenades and 120 mines in
the last two months, including a significant weapons cache.
People are encouraged to turn in illegal weapons to any SFOR
unit as well as to their local police for destruction.
Tomorrow, like today, Canadian soldiers are committed to collecting
illegal weapons and to ensuring their safe and permanent disposal.
Nations of SFOR: Canada