Posts Tagged ‘ Helmand ’

Soldier cited for holding off up to 30 Taliban by himself

As reported by CNN

Britain’s newest hero is a Nepali.

Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday awarded Britain’s second-highest award for bravery, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, to Acting Sgt. Dipprasad Pun of the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

While stationed as a lone sentry at a checkpoint in Afghanistan’s Helmand province on September 17, Pun fended off an attack by up to 30 Taliban fighters.

“There were many Taliban around me,” Pun said in an interview with British Forces News. “I thought they are definitely going to kill me. … I thought before they kill me I have to kill some of them.”

During the 15-minute battle, Pun fired more than 400 rounds of ammunition, detonated 17 grenades and a mine and even threw his gun tripod at a Taliban fighter climbing toward his position, according to British Forces News.

“He was just about to climb up there and I hit (him) with my tripod and he fell down again,” Pun told British Forces News.

Pun’s actions saved the lives of three fellow soldiers at the checkpoint and were the “bravest seen in his battalion over two hard tours in Afghanistan,” according to his medal citation.

Pun was not wounded in the firefight.

“That he survived unscathed is simply incredible,” his medal citation says. “Throughout Dip’s actions he was under almost constant intense fire. Dip’s courage and gallantry were simply astonishing.”

Pun, 31, joined the British military in 2000 and also has served in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Like other Gurkhas, Pun is from Nepal. The Gurkhas were incorporated into British forces after their fighting skill impressed the opposition British during the Nepal Wars of 1814 to 1816. As part of the peace treaty ending that conflict, Gurkhas were admitted into East India Company’s army and then into the British military.

Gurkhas recruited solely in Nepal remain Nepalese citizens during their service. Gurkha unit officers are British.

Pakistanis for Peace Editor’s Note– Congratulations to Sgt. Dipprasad Pun for his amazing feat of bravery and determination in his battle with the Taliban. We salute him for his gallantry and wish there were thousands more like him in the allied forces fighting the Taliban menace. If that were the case, these barbarians would be already defeated.

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Taliban Hangs 7 Year Old Afghan Boy For Spying

By Tucker Reals for CBS News

Taliban militants accused a seven-year-old boy of spying and hanged him earlier this week in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, a local government official tells CBS News.  

Provincial government spokesman Daud Ahmadi confirmed the incident which took place on Tuesday in the Taliban stronghold of Sangin, in Helmand. Ahmadi told CBS News’ Fazul Rahim the boy was hanged in public after a Taliban commander read a verdict out loud, accusing the youth of spying for international forces.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday that, if confirmed by his national government, the hanging would be “heart breaking and shocking.”

Karzai spoke in Kabul at a joint news conference with Britain’s new Prime Minister David Cameron, who was in town for his first visit as head of state. Cameron said the alleged hanging would be a “horrific crime… a crime against humanity,” if proven.

A local resident in the remote village of Sang e Hissar, in the Sangin valley, tells CBS News he witnessed the hanging. The man says three militants brought the boy before a crowd of about 150 people, read the short verdict, and then hanged him from a tree.

The youngster was the grandson of a respected local elder, the resident tells CBS. According to the villager, the Taliban have intensified their campaign of intimidation in the area in recent months.

A Taliban source in Helmand told CBS News’ Sami Yousafzai on Thursday he was aware of the boy being killed, but that it was a case of a militant settling a personal vendetta against the boy’s family, then using the spying charges as an excuse. The source said he believed the boy’s executor had fled across the border to Pakistan.

The hanging comes as a Taliban commander in neighboring Kandahar province — the Taliban’s traditional home territory — tells CBS News that a suicide attack on a wedding party that left 40 people dead was “collective punishment” for villagers standing up to the Islamic militants’ control in the region.

Situation in Afghanistan Remains Unstable Despite Gen McChrystal’s Troop Surge

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