Monday, August 2, 2010

Ambushes, firefights and IEDs hamper latest British offensive

By Kim Sengupta, The Independent

“We are moving to the compound of Rahmad Yar,” was the intercepted Taliban message.

The attack came 53 minutes later, long raking bursts of machine-gun fire along with intermittent Kalashnikov shots. Other targets around the area also began to be hit. The Taliban were not giving up their stronghold without a fight.

British soldiers pause during their offensive to drive the Taliban’s fighters from Saidabad
Photo: Cpl Gary Kendall RLC/MOD 2010

Resistance had initially been muted as British and Afghan forces headed south, with insurgent fighters focusing on US Marines coming in the opposite direction. But they had reorganised – with repeated radio calls for ammunition – and were now in a position to hit back.

A series of attempted ambushes continued for the rest of the afternoon as the troops patrolled along tracks, twisting past high-walled compounds; Taliban fighters moved across fields and Apache and Cobra helicopter gunships circled overhead.

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