Mohammed, who was my Somali driver, and I had been traveling together for several days through the highlands of Somaliland. He was an ex-SNM (Somali National Movement) rebel who fought against the Siad Barre regime back in the late ’80s. As such, he was an ardent separatist and eager to show me the old battle sites where he engaged the foe. Here, he stands on top of a destroyed Russian tank, and fondly reminisced about blowing it up with four claymore mines strapped to a bridge.
As we worked our way back up the dry wadi, he looked around and wondered out loud if there were any mines that might have washed down into the silt. (“Oh, God is Great!”) Since he was my guide, I let him walk a good fifty paces in front of me and carefully stepped into his tracks, until we were on hard ground.