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BAGHDAD -- The padded walls and bulletproof glass kept the sound of the world out as the crew of the Buffalo ambled down the highway at a grazing pace, examining litter.
Boxes. Rags. Bags. Dead dogs. The American soldiers riding in the military's newest weapon against roadside bombs scrutinized everything they saw beneath their windows.
One of the most dangerous assignments in Iraq is now one of its most critical, as the U.S. military tries to deal with the growing threat of lethal roadside bomb attacks. The number of U.S. troops who have died in the Iraq war hit 2,000 on Tuesday, and more than half of the soldiers killed in the last six months died from improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
Emenheiser, of Lebanon, Pa., said the Buffalo finds one IED an average of every 5 1/2 missions. According to statistics, finding an IED saves 2.2 lives, he said.
Insurgents know the Buffalo is out there, roaming the streets. Fliers have appeared in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood instructing militants to "kill the Buffalo." When it rolls down the street at 5 to 10 miles per hour, passersby gawk.