Special Operations: SAS Snatch Hits a Snag


July 5, 2006: A secret British commando mission in Afghanistan was recently revealed when the families of two Special Operations men killed during the operation were notified. The action took place in Hemland province, which has been the scene of much fighting in the last few months. British intelligence received information that four high ranking Taliban officials were in the village of Sangin. A SAS team and a hundred paratroopers, from the newly formed Special Forces Support Group, were sent to grab the Taliban officials at night. While the paratroopers launched an attack as a diversion, the SAS operators went in and grabbed the four Taliban leaders. But as the SAS sped away in vehicles, to link up with a force of Gurkhas, that would escort them out of hostile territory, they ran into trouble. The intelligence lads had missed a force of 50-100 Taliban gunmen who were in the area, and were on the road, between the SAS and the Gurkhas. The SAS ran into what amounted to an ambush. The Gurkhas and paratroopers quickly got involved. There was also quick air support from a British Harrier and an Apache helicopter gunship. But in the hour of fighting that followed, one SAS man and one paratrooper were killed. Two of the Taliban captives were killed in the crossfire, and the other two apparently escaped, unharmed, in the confusion. But about 35 of the Taliban ambush force were killed, while the rest slipped away in the night. British casualties would have been much higher had it not been for their excellent training, and night vision equipment.


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