Israel's "Tunnel Rats" Brace for New Guerrilla War

(Reuters) Lianne Gross - Fearing a surge in tunnel and bunker construction by Lebanon's Hizbullah and Palestinian militants, Israel is training its troops to hunt below ground with robot probes and sniffer dogs. "We're gathering the information, studying it and building training facilities to train our soldiers," said a major from the Israeli engineering corps' Yahalom ("Diamond") commando unit. The Yahalom men were armed with pistols and snub-barrelled assault rifles to ease movement through narrow passages. Oxygen masks are an option, should ventilation prove problematic. During an exercise put on for the foreign media, soldiers blew up the door of a mock tunnel, then a camera-carrying robot was pulled out of a backpack and tossed inside. The Israelis use dogs to sniff out booby-traps in the tunnels and, if needed, to tackle the defenders.

2012-03-09 00:00:00

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