Taliban fighters are burying dirty needles with their bombs in a bid to infect British troops with HIV, The Sun reported Wednesday.
Hypodermic syringes are reportedly hidden below the surface of explosive devices, pointing upwards to prick bomb squad experts as they hunt for devices.
The needles are feared to be contaminated with hepatitis and HIV. And if the bomb goes off, the needles become deadly flying shrapnel.
The tactic, used in the Afghan badlands of Helmand, was exposed by British ex-Army officer Patrick Mercer.
"Are there no depths to which these people will stoop? This is the definition of a dirty war," Mercer said.
Razor blades are also being used. All Royal Engineer and Royal Logistic Corps bomb search teams have been issued with protective Kevlar gloves.