Weapons: Bouncing Death From China



August 20, 2008: Chinese made Airburst anti-personnel RPG rockets have been discovered in Afghanistan, after first being encountered in Iraq, where they were used by Iranian supported Shia rebels. The Chinese made RPG rocket is optimized for anti-personnel effect. To accomplish that, the shell bounces up about six feet, after first hitting the ground. Then the 5.7 pound warhead explodes, releasing hundreds of metal fragments. Casualties can be caused nearly fifty feet away. Because the warhead explodes in the air, and is full of metal fragments, it is more than three times as likely to kill or injure than the usual RPG warhead (which is designed to penetrate armor). The "Airburst Anti-Personnel" rocket also has a longer range (over 1,500 meters, more than twice that for the anti-armor rocket).

Iran buys these rockets from China, or maybe even makes its own copies. Iran denies supplying weapons to the Taliban or al Qaeda (which are violently opposed to the Shia brand of Islam practiced throughout Iran and southern Iraq.) But in the past, Iran has aided al Qaeda, and Iranian gunrunners will sell weapons to anyone who can pay.