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Explosives

The most frequently used weapons of mass destruction are some form of explosive, whether it be an airplane full of fuel, a truck or car wired with explosives, booby-trapped old shells, and explosives buried alongside a road, or a person wearing an explosives vest. The improvised explosive device (IED) has caused large numbers of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan of military personnel and also civilians. IEDs can be made from existing explosive devices, artillery shells, mortar bombs, or various commercially available materials such as nitrate-based agricultural fertilizers or hydrogen peroxide. Much suitable material along with detonators, detonating cords, and plastic explosives can be found on the black market where it is circulating freely having been stolen from unsecured stockpiles. The threat of the use of IEDs is extremely high and will continue well into the future. (See endnote 78.)

Blast terrorism and explosions cause in people: primarily tissue damage especially in the lungs and interfaces between tissue and gas, from the blast wave; secondly, penetrating or blunt injury from shrapnel and debris; and thirdly, injury from the acceleration of the blast wind and then rapid deceleration.

 
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