How a 20-Year-Old British Sniper Killed Six Taliban Insurgents With a Single Bullet — From Half a Mile AwayPosted: March 31, 2014
For The Telegraph, Holly Watt reports: A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.
The 20-year-old marksman, a lance corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 850 metres, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast.
The incident in Kakaran in southern Afghanistan happened in December but has only now been disclosed as Britain moves towards the withdrawal of all combat soldiers by the end of the year.
Lt Col Richard Slack, commanding officer of 9/12 Royal Lancers, said the unnamed sharpshooter prevented a major attack by the Taliban, as a second suicide vest packed with 20 kg of explosives was found nearby.
The same sniper, with his first shot on the tour of duty, killed a Taliban machine-gunner from 1,340 metres.
“I think I’ve just shot a suicide bomber”
Several hundred British and Afghan soldiers were carrying out an operation in December when they were engaged in a gun battle with 15 to 20 insurgents.
“The guy was wearing a vest. He was identified by the sniper moving down a tree line and coming up over a ditch,” said Lt Col Slack. “He had a shawl on. It rose up and the sniper saw he had a machine gun.
“They were in contact and he was moving to a firing position. The sniper engaged him and the guy exploded. There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said, ‘I think I’ve just shot a suicide bomber.’ The rest of them were killed in the blast.”
It is understood the lance corporal was using an L115A3 gun, the Army’s most powerful sniper weapon.
The Armed Forces are gradually decreasing their presence in Helmand, handing over security of the country to the Afghan armed forces. Last month, three major bases were closed or handed over to Afghan control. At the height of the campaign, there were 137 bases across Helmand – now there is only one base outside Camp Bastion, Sterga 2, which is staffed by a company from 4 Scots and the 9/12 Royal Lancers. Read the rest of this entry »