Procurement: October 18, 2002


The Afghan independent news agency Hindokosh in Dari reported on 14 October that on the night of 12 October, three British helicopters appeared in the Kabul sky and the locals interpreted this as an attempt to "steal" an Afghani tank. Oddly enough, the tank in question was a Renault FT-17 captured from the British Expeditionary Force in the Anglo-Afghan war of 1919.

The tank is kept as a "Gate Guard" at the Afghan Army's Division No 637 (Kabul garrison command) and has been photographed in many Soviet Afghan War reference books. The British had requested the tank through diplomatic channels around two months ago, but Afghan officials refused (even though rumor had it that $12 million was offered for the vehicle). When given the report of the helicopters, the Afghani garrison commander contacted the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) commander and demanded that such moves should be prevented in future, or they would face a strong reaction from the Kabul garrison forces. The ISAF commander apparently had no information about this issue. - Adam Geibel


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