Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

'Hero' army expert diffuses record number of bombs

Warrant Officer Iain Martin
Image caption Warrant Officer Iain Martin made safe 12 bombs in Helmand Province

An army bomb disposal expert from Edinburgh is being hailed a hero, after he defused a record number of explosive devices in an operation in Afghanistan.

Warrant Officer Iain Martin made safe 12 bombs during a high risk mission in the Gereshk area of Helmand Province.

The devices were placed along 800m of roadside and were targeted at vehicles and foot patrols.

The 39-year-old soldier's bravery has been described as "outstanding" by his commanding officer.

Mr Martin, from Craigiehall, Edinburgh, said: "This was a huge variety of IEDs, all within a short distance, and represented a real challenge for us.

"Our reward came when we had finished and an Afghan family came up on to the road with their herd of goats, looking around like they hadn't trodden on the land in years.

"The local people have confidence in us and our work to improve their lives, and that's a great feeling."

Outstanding achievement

The bombs were all triggered by pressure plates, designed to deliver large explosions to anyone passing by on foot or in a vehicle.

It is a record number according to his commanding officer, who has described it as an "outstanding achievement".

WO Martin serves with the Royal Logistics Corps, and is attached to 2 Scots while on duty in Helmand province.

Last week, one of his colleagues WO Charlie Wood, was killed during a similar operation by the battalion.

Lt Col Mark Davis GM, commanding officer of the counter-IED task force, said the bravery of his bomb disposal teams never failed to amaze him.

"We know we are having a positive effect, not just for our own troops but also for local Afghans who approach us and express their gratitude for the UK troops helping to make their lives more bearable," he said.

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