News story

Afghan Army soldiers seize weapons haul

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

An Afghan National Army (ANA) unit has seized machine guns and ammunition shells after overpowering their opponents in an ambush.

Members of the 1st Kandak (battalion) of 3/215 Brigade, who are being supported by British soldiers from the Mercian Regiment, reacted quickly when they were targeted by insurgents during an early morning patrol in Nad ‘Ali district last week.

Although they were outnumbered, they used their training, which has been developed by UK forces over the years, and turned the battle in their favour. They inflicted a number of casualties and captured several fighters but did not suffer a single injury themselves.

Their would-be ambushers withdrew so quickly that they abandoned an arsenal of weaponry including 4 PKM machine guns, several AK-47s and 5 large roadside bombs built from artillery shells.

Brigadier General Mohammad Nasim, the commander of 3/215 Brigade, visited the kandak to award certificates of merit – the equivalent of British gallantry medals.

Captured artillery shells and ammunition
Brigadier General Nasim shows Lieutenant Colonel Davies the captured roadside bombs built from artillery shells [Picture: Crown copyright]

He said:

Now they know they are no match for the brave warriors of the ANA and that they have no part to play in the future of Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Davies, commanding officer of 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, which forms the Herrick 19 Brigade Advisory Team, saw the haul of weaponry and the presentations.

He said:

This has dealt a massive blow to the Taliban operating in this area – they will struggle to recover from it, if at all.

More importantly, word of the 1st Kandak’s success has spread across the brigade, lifting morale and increasing the will and confidence of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

As the ANSF are fully in the lead on security operations, the Mercians are continuing to train, advise and assist their Afghan counterparts.

Lieutenant Colonel Davies added:

It is yet another example that the ANA are more than capable of operating independently of the International Security Assistance Force and are achieving impressive results.