Mattis gets bizarre Indonesian send off
A soldier tore apart a snake with his teeth and his comrades headbutted flaming stacks of bricks as Indonesia's special forces treated visiting US defence secretary Jim Mattis to an unusual display on 23 January.
Mattis - whose own nickname is ‘Mad Dog’ - seemed impressed by the show, which also saw police dogs leaping from helicopters to attack ‘terrorists’.
To the sound of beating drums and with their faces daubed with camouflage, the elite soldiers launched a wild martial arts display as they demolished wood and brick obstacles with kicks, punches and headbutts.
The US delegation looked on as the men then killed live snakes, including cobras, and served their blood to each other in a sign of brotherhood. One fighter even tore apart a snake with his teeth.
Nearby, a commando rolled around on broken glass while another shot apparently live bullets at a balloon held by his blindfolded comrade - with one round missing the target, although no one was injured.
An aerial display saw soldiers launch themselves from helicopters together with dogs to stage a mock manhunt for a pair of ‘terrorists’.
Back on land, a dog then jumped through an open car window to grab one of the pretend radicals.
‘As you see, the dogs beat the terrorist,’ a military official said following the show at Indonesia's Army Headquarters to round of the US defence secretary's visit.
Mattis, whose next stop on his Asian tour was Vietnam, said: ‘Even the dogs coming out of those helicopters knew what to do when confronting the terrorist.’