British soldiers take out Taliban bombers
A Military Operations news article
2 Mar 10
An experienced Taliban IED-laying team was recently destroyed by a Royal Artillery strike after having been discovered by soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 SCOTS) on a routine patrol.
One of the men killed in the strike, the unit's commander and IED-facilitator, has been linked to a number of attacks on ISAF troops and Afghan nationals in the Wishtan area of east Sangin, Helmand province.
They were discovered when a ground patrol from 6 Platoon, B Company, 1 SCOTS, based at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Wishtan, near Sangin, searched an outhouse in a derelict compound.
Inside was an IED pressure plate, along with a gas bottle and magazine boxes for a PKM Soviet machine gun.
While extracting the cache, the British soldiers were aware they were being closely observed by suspected Taliban informants, but they returned to FOB Wishtan without incident.
The British soldiers kept the compound and outhouse under surveillance though and within two hours a man was seen entering the compound and making his way to the outhouse from which the IED-making equipment had been removed.
The suspected bomber was soon joined by another three men, completing the four-man-team typical of the IED-laying units which traditionally operate in the Wishtan area.
From Patrol Base Chakaw, one kilometre to the east, soldiers from B Company, 1 SCOTS, were able to watch as the suspected insurgents began digging at the base of a compound wall."While the object of our presence here is not solely to kill insurgents, we should not underestimate the positive influence impact that a strike like this can have on the local population."
Major Graeme Wearmouth
One of the techniques used by 1 SCOTS to avoid the IEDs that litter Wishtan's narrow streets and alleyways is 'Grand Nationaling', which involves the soldiers using ladders to get up and over the high compound walls.
The suspected insurgents were digging where the patrol's ladders had been placed when crossing into the compound that morning. An obvious trail of soldiers' boot prints had marked out the exact entry point, and the bomb-layers were setting a trap for a future patrol, hoping they use the same route again.
After a further two hours of careful observation to ensure the area around the compound was free of civilians, and the men within were indeed laying a device, the soldiers called in indirect fire.
The resulting precision strike, launched by a Royal Artillery unit, successfully neutralised the insurgents....
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