Taliban Weapons

Taliban weapons seized by Commandos

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Marines seize Taliban weapons in airborne assault. A Military Operations news article released on 14th January 2009

Following a night-time helicopter and ground assault conducted by British Royal Marine Commandos, Afghan and Canadian troops.

A huge haul of lethal weapons, mines and bomb-making equipment; drugs and wet opium have been recovered from many of the Taliban strongholds near Kandahar.

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3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment

Operation Shahi Tandar (Royal Storm) took place north of Kandahar City on 7-9 January 2009. It was conducted by Afghanistan National Security Forces supported by British troops from 42 Commando Group Royal Marines and the 3rd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.

Under cover of darkness, the helicopter assault was launched on the isolated Taliban stronghold in the early hours of the morning on 7 January 2009 by members of K Company, 42 Commando Group, supporting a Canadian Recce Squadron from Task Force Kandahar.

While the Royal Marines attacked from the air, before sweeping through the area on foot, securing and checking compounds and farm buildings, while the 3rd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group pushed in from the ground, on foot and in armoured vehicles.

Overwhelmed insurgents

ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) forces completely surprised and overwhelmed insurgents in a number of locations, although tragically, during the operation, a Canadian Trooper was killed.

A selection of detonators, detonator wire and fuses, along with IED (Improvised Explosive Device) testing equipment, found during Operation Shahi Tandar

The search of over 50 compounds and buildings led to the detention of eight insurgents and the seizure of a huge haul of weapons and bomb-making equipment by the Marines and the supporting Royal Engineers of K Company.

Kilos of explosives, detonators, fuses

AK-47 rifles, a handgun, grenades and anti-personnel mines were uncovered along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Alongside the weapons, a huge haul of materials used to make improvised explosive devices was found in a compound believed to have been a bomb factory.

Pressure plate triggers, kilos of explosives, detonators, fuses and ball-bearings used to create deadly shrapnel were uncovered hidden in underground caches.

In addition, 20kg of wet opium was discovered in one location and cannabis in another.

Supporting Canadian Forces

From Task Force Helmand

Leaving as rapidly as they came, K Company were extracted again by helicopter, having dealt a serious blow to the insurgency and their capability to launch attacks, particularly on the major transport routes through the Kandahar province.

22 sticks of Rocket Propelled Grenade propellant explosives seized during the raid by K Company 42 Commando, and supporting Canadian Forces from Task Force Helmand

Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Stickland Royal Marines, Commanding Officer 42 Commando Group, said: "The operation was a true coalition success, with the agility of a helicopter-borne Royal Marines Commando Company being used to surprise and unhinge the Taliban whilst supported by Canadian Ground Manoeuvre."

The men of 42 Commando Group now have a reputation across Southern Afghanistan for having a 'ferret-like' nose for weapon caches.

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An indiscriminate weapon that kill

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are an indiscriminate weapon that kill and injure innocent Afghans and ISAF forces. Recently the reporting of IEDs by both civilians and ISAF forces has increased.

ISAF, in partnership with ANSF, exploits every improvised explosive device incident to its fullest in order to gain information to improve their procedures to fight this threat.

In recent months, ISAF and ANSF operations have been increasingly successful in finding and dismantling IED-building networks and facilities.

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