Tuesday, August 31, 2010
This is from the worthy site WEASEL ZIPPERS
(Telegraph)- A British soldier killed while manning a watchtower in Afghanistan may have been the latest victim of a hired Taliban sniper stalking the town of Sangin, it has been claimed.
Sapper Darren Foster of the Royal Engineers was shot as he passed a narrow slit in a bulletproof glass screen around a lookout post in the northern Helmand town.
US forces have disclosed that he is thought to have been one of three victims of a sniper at work in the area in just a week. One US marine was killed as he momentarily stepped out of an armoured vehicle to drop off a rubbish bag and another was injured on a bridge nearby.
The shootings raised fears that the Taliban may have hired a mercenary sniper to target Nato forces in the town which is now considered the most dangerous in Afghanistan.
There have been claims that at least three snipers trained in Iran or Pakistan are thought to be at work across Afghanistan.
Earlier this year it emerged that the SAS had been sent out to track a Taliban sniper operating around Sangin.
A senior officer disclosed that a single gunman was thought to be responsible for the deaths of up to seven soldiers from 3rd Battalion, the Rifles, stationed in Sangin.
Sapper Foster, 20, from Whitehaven, Cumbria, was on duty in a lookout post at Patrol Base Sangin Fulod on August 13.
The post is protected by thickened glass with only small gaps through which those on guard can point their weapons.
US forces, working alongside British troops at the base, disclosed that it is thought the gunman timed a single shot for the moment he walked past the opening.
“He hit a moving target in a space this big,” Captain Jim Nolan, a company commander serving with the US Seventh Marine Regiment told the Wall Street Journal, holding his hands about nine inches apart.
more . . .
(Daily Mail)- Four foreign snipers hired by the Taliban, thought to be responsible for the deaths of ten British soldiers, have been hunted down and killed.
The mercenaries were found by British special forces in Helmand province in Afghanistan after a tip-off from locals. They were put under close surveillance until their identities were confirmed, then air strikes were called in.
The operation ended a killing spree that lasted weeks and could have led to the deaths of up to ten British soldiers.
Recruited from Pakistan, Egypt and Chechnya, the snipers could kill from up to 650 yards away and were considered a serious threat by British commanders.
Their victims included Sapper Darren Foster, 20, from Whitehaven, Cumbria, who was killed by a single shot from 600 yards, which went through a 9in gap in a look-out post near Sangin.
When their identities were confirmed and their exact locations ascertained, pilots of U.S. F-16 jets were sent precise coordinates to ensure their high-explosive bombs killed the enemy without hurting innocent civilians.
In both cases, elite SAS and SBS troops, working with crack US and Afghan Special Forces, were involved.