Afghanistan: February 12, 2005

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About the only hostile action in southeast Afghanistan, where Taliban ambushes and raids used to be common, are small rockets fired at Afghan and American military bases and outposts. Some half dozen of these rockets (often rather ancient 122mm  or 107mm Russian models) were fired in the last few days. None hit anything. The most popular rocket for this work is the 42 pound, 107mm, 33 inch long, Russian BM-12. This rocket has a range of about six kilometers and three pounds of explosives in its warhead. Normally fired, from a launcher, in salvoes of dozens at a time, when used individually, they can only be aimed at a large target, like a large village, or small town, with any expectation of hitting anything. American military bases are usually just a small walled compound, and rarely get hit by 107mm rockets "aimed" at them. Moreover, many of the 107mm rockets available in Afghanistan are over twenty years old, and not all that reliable because of old age. 

 

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