As Capt. Victor leads a team of Spanish special forces on a night patrol in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, one thing worries him most: Chinese-made hand grenades that sell for less than a soft drink.

"Locals use hand grenades because they are very cheap — they are cheaper than a can of Coke," Victor, 29, said as he adjusted his helmet and night-vision goggles. He and other troops spoke on condition that their last names weren't used because their military's policy prohibits it.

Victor, who also served in Afghanistan, routinely leads a patrol of 13 members of the Spanish special forces. They are part of the 750 troops whom the European Union Force (EUFOR) deployed in April to protect the people of Bangui.