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Taliban claim death of six UK soldiers in Helmand

March 8, 2012

The Taliban have been quick to claim responsibility for the explosion that destroyed a British Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle and killed six British soldiers on Tuesday morning of the 7th March.  On their website, they initially referenced the attack yesterday morning, claiming it was an American vehicle:

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 10:25

HELMAND, Mar. 07 – A US military convoy was travelling on Kandahar-Herat main highway when an IED blew apart their tank between Yakhchal and Lashkargah Durahi areas of Gerishk district at 07:00 pm on Tuesday, instantly killing all inside. The wreckage of the tank is still lying in the area.

They then corrected this later on in the day with the following:

Powerful IED attack kills 6 British invaders

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 17:41

The British occupational officials confirmed today that 6 of their invading troops were killed last night by a powerful bomb blast in Helmand province.

Mujahideen officials from the province state that the incident took place in Kamparak region located between Yackhchal and Lashkargah Durahi areas of Gerishk district when a landmine blew apart the enemy tank at around 07:00 pm yesterday, adding that all invaders onboard were incinerated in the powerful explosion hence the British occupational officials initially said their invading soldiers were missing and later confirmed them dead.

It is worth reminding that we had published a report about this incident on our website early this morning.

The Taliban have been very effective at claiming attacks for some years.  But their accuracy is generally highly questionable.  Genuine Taliban successes against ISAF, such as this one appears to be, usually struggle to make themselves noticed on Taliban websites amongst the overwhelming number of distorted or falsified claims they post up.  Here they have quite clearly monitored the news reports and statements made from Afghan and internationl military officials for their own confirmation.

When a big explosion of this sort occurs I tend to think of this sort of report:

Taliban claim weapons supplied by Iran
A Taliban commander has credited Iranian-supplied weapons with successful operations against coalition forces in Afghanistan.

14 Sep 2008

The comments by the commander, who would not be named but operates in the south east of the country where there has been a surge in Taliban attacks, were a rare admission of co-operation between elements within the Iranian regime and forces fighting British and American troops in Afghanistan.

“There’s a kind of landmine called a Dragon. Iran’s sending it,” he said. “It’s directional and it causes heavy casualties.

“We’re ambushing the Americans and planting roadside bombs. We never let them relax.”

The commander, a veteran of 30 years who started fighting when the Soviet Union was occupying Afghanistan, said the Dragon had revolutionised the Taliban’s ability to target Nato soldiers deployed in his area.

“If you lay an ordinary mine, it will only cause minor damage to Humvees or one of their big tanks. But if you lay a Dragon, it will destroy it completely,” he said.

A “Dragon” is the local nickname for a type of weapon known internationally as an Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) or “shaped charge” and has been used with devastating effect in Iraq by Iranian-backed groups. It is shaped so that all the explosive force is concentrated in one direction – the target – rather than blasting in all directions and weakening its impact.

But also, since I was only writing about it yesterday, this (NATO) thought re-occurred:

Throughout Afghanistan, formal and informal agreements between Taliban, Arbakai militias and Afghan intelligence, police and army units have long been a common occurrence…there has been a conspicuous increase in reporting which references outright coordination, equipment transfers, intelligence sharing or occasionally even the incorporation of Afghan security forces into Taliban operations, some of whom have already targeted ISAF personnel… (page 24)

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