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Fire in the hole

By Cpl. Diego Buñuel
First published in
SFOR Informer #99, October 25, 2000

Kalinovik - Even in the sink hole paradise of this firing range, the Italian engineers had to dig even deeper to prepare for the destruction of more than 2,000 hand grenades, 200 artillery rounds, 60 mortar bombs and 250 kg of TNT, set to go up in smoke on October 17th.
"This is too much for just one pit," said Capt. Giuseppe Buono, in charge of the UXO team which will work for four weeks to destroy some 60,000 pieces of ordinance. "We have to spread the charge or else it would make a huge hole."
Captain. Stefano Venuti, helped by WO Angelo Conte, stacked dozens of rust-covered hand made grenades over a pit that was already layered in mortars rounds, sand bags, grenades and dirt.
The ordnance included some 'home-made' devices. They came in all shapes and sizes, from pineapple grenades to massive foot-long chunks of steel used as booby traps. Others were encased in plastic resin containing nails and bolts, and many had different types of detonators.
"I am taking some detonators with me to use in classes on how to disarm them," said Buono.
This unexploded ordinance was part of an important operation that aimed at getting rid of stockpiles left in Entity Armed Forces (EAF) camps around the country.
"Many of these grenade boxes had been left outside for the past two years and they have rusted really bad," Buono said, pointing out the mouldy boxes. "They (the EAF) had to work together with us to bring this convoy down here from Gorazde and that's really good."

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Italy
Mines and De-mining