Tag Archives: IED

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, […]

Meet the boy bomber

The Sunday Times When Mohammad Ehsar, 14, heard that American soldiers had killed his teacher during a military operation, all he could think about was revenge. The soldiers raided the home of cleric Mawlawi Hazrat Muhammad last September. Muhammad, who was believed to be organising attacks on Nato targets, was shot. Ehsar was told that […]

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 […]

Chasing Taliban ghosts

The Sunday Times Two Taliban fighters crept into the middle of a dirt road near Kandahar city. Unaware that an American spy plane had spotted them, they began to dig a hole as the sun beat down on their heads. American soldiers at Forward Operating Base Wilson little more than a mile away watched the […]

‘Hang in there, man – talk about your baby’

The Sunday Times The blast from the mine tore into the American soldier’s body, tossing him backwards through the air like a rag doll. He spun in mid-flight and thumped onto a dirt path 20ft away. Silence descended for a moment as a large brown cloud of dust settled over his comrades where they crouched […]

Inside the mind of a Taliban bomb master

The Sunday Times Squatting on a concrete floor with nails, wires and a plug socket scattered around his feet, Naimatullah goes carefully about his business. “This is the detonator for the bomb,” he says in a soft voice, a small object in his hand. Then he scoops up some white powder, packing it into a […]