Armed with Faith: Pakistan’s Bomb Disposal Unit
Armed with Faith: Pakistan’s Bomb Disposal Unit (25.03.18)
The men of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Bomb Disposal Unit (KPK BDU) are at the front lines of the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan.
Responding to call outs and defusing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), sometimes with little more than their bare hands, the team risk their lives on a daily basis to make their region safer.
A hot spot for IEDs and suicide bombings, the border province of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is considered the gateway for fighters from the tribal areas and neighbouring Afghanistan. The battle for control of this porous border area remains critical to the stability of Pakistan and global security.
Two bomb technicians and their commander share their stories: living far from their families, struggling to make ends meet, and facing constant danger, the men are guided by faith and compassion for their fellow man, even those who mean to cause them harm.
“They are people like us, we’ve let them down,” says Inayatullah “Tiger” Khan, a member of the BDU. “They see US drones coming into the country and destroying everything: the strikes kill children, older people, women.
“They don’t have the ability to get to the person flying the drones, but we are within reach, we suffer the brunt of their helplessness.”