A British sniper deployed in Afghanistan made a Hollywood-worthy shot last December after the bullet he fired at a Taliban suicide bomber struck the device’s trigger and detonated, killing another five surrounding Taliban insurgents.
The unnamed 20-year-old lance corporal from the Coldstream Guards struck his target from 930 yards out in the Kakaran region of southern Afghanistan. The event was only recently disclosed as Britain prepares to withdraw all of its combat troops from the country by the end of 2014, The Telegraph reports.
“The guy was wearing a vest. He was identified by the sniper moving down a tree line and coming up over a ditch,” a Lt. Col. Slack told the Telegraph. “He had a shawl on. It rose up and the sniper saw he had a machine gun.”
“They were in contact and he was moving to a firing position. The sniper engaged him and the guy exploded. There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said, ‘I think I’ve just shot a suicide bomber.’ The rest of them were killed in the blast,” Slack said.
Royal Lancers commanding officer Lt. Col. Richard Slack said the corporal prevented what could have been a devastating Taliban assault after troops discovered another 44-pounds of explosives packed in a second suicide vest nearby.
It was the second of the young sniper’s impressive shots during his current tour of duty — his first killed a Taliban machine-gunner from 1,465 yards out.
The incident occurred during a December firefight with 15 to 20 Taliban insurgents. The corporal was reportedly using a L115A3 sniper rifle, which the report described as the military’s most-powerful long-range rifle.
Afghan forces have assumed 97 percent of the country’s security in preparation for the withdraw of foreign troops by the end of the year. On Saturday Afghanistan will hold its first presidential election since President Hamid Karzai assumed control of the country following the removal of the Taliban from power in 2001.