No 'monkey terrorists' in Afghanistan, says scientist

     American soldiers in Afghanistan can heave a sigh of relief - they won't be fighting armed monkeys. Citing a British press agency two weeks ago, the Chinese People's Daily had said the Taliban was training monkeys to take on US troops. Armed with "Kalashnikovs, Bren machine-guns and trench mortars", macaques and baboons are being taught to recognise and fire upon anyone wearing a US military uniform. "A senior US military source confirmed the existence of the Taliban monkey soldiers, military experts call armed monkeys 'monkey terrorists'," the report said. However, a University of California scientist says the idea is next to impossible. "They can be trained to do things like turn off lights and open faucets and so on, but eventually that breaks down," quoted psychologist William Mason, as telling LiveScience. Mason, who is professor emeritus at the University of California , added: "If we're talking about animals going out into the field or a fortress with an AK-47 or whatever, it seems very, very implausible. "To give a monkey a complex device like a rifle and say 'We're going to train it to become a soldier' is purely fantastical."

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