Category Helmand

‘Without us cajoling, pushing or pleading, the Afghan army would sit on their arse and do fuck all’

The Sunday Times The bullet tore into the British sniper’s hip and knocked him to the ground. Surrounded by Taliban fighters after being pinned down by heavy fire inside a mud compound for seven hours, British soldiers suffering from heat exhaustion dragged the wounded corporal from the rooftop and into an inner courtyard. They bent […]

Taliban mines and assassinations disrupt transition in Lashkar Gah

The Sunday Times Their faces concealed with chequered scarves, the Taliban assassins found Haji Zahir Arian sitting on cushions in the living room of a friend’s house. They wasted no time in striking a blow against peace. The first hitman to enter the small room raised his rifle and loosed off four rounds as Arian, […]

Last hope for the crossfire children

The Sunday Times On the day Nazia’s two-year-old son fell ill with acute diarrhoea, American soldiers engaged in a shootout with the Taliban near the family home in Helmand province. Terrified of being killed in the crossfire, Nazia sheltered indoors for five days before braving the dirt track that led to the local clinic. By […]

The devil gets his playground back

The British Army’s forward operating base at Wishtan — known as the Devil’s Playground because of the high number of casualties suffered there — is one of those abandoned by US marines. At the height of the Taliban’s onslaught, the British saw a man killed or wounded on one in every three patrols into the […]

US humbled in bloody Sangin

The Sunday Times The platoon was only 200 yards from its base when Lieutenant Robert Kelly, the 29-year-old son of a US Marine Corps general, hauled himself out of an irrigation ditch and on to a Taliban mine buried in the mud bank. The force of the blast hurled him back into the ditch, slicing […]

British troops accused of handing Taliban captives to Afghan torturers

The Sunday Times By Miles Amoore and David Leppard THE British Army is facing allegations that at least 10 Taliban suspects were beaten and given electric shocks after being handed over to local security forces in Afghanistan. The Afghan detainees have told British investigators that they were also whipped with cables and suffered sleep deprivation […]

Death and swift revenge

The Sunday Times THE patrol set off in darkness. Through fields of poppy and wheat, 100 men from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force stumbled towards their target, a strip of compounds that had been used by the Taliban to fire on British troops. “Right, lads, the Taliban are waking up. They’ve already pinged our position,” said […]