British paratroopers strike blow against Taliban

Click to follow
The Independent Online

British paratroopers in Afghanistan today said they had "struck a blow right into the heart of the insurgency" after advancing into Taliban territory in Helmand province.

British and Afghan forces launched an operation to secure the settlement of Tor Ghai in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province, a known area of insurgent activity.

The troops, from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, and The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, were attacked with small arms fire before the insurgents retreated.

A shura, or meeting, with village elders was held, with a message broadcast by loudspeaker saying: "The Afghan National Army and ISAF are here to stay, so we can provide security for the development that is coming to your village. You can come out now. This is a new time in your lives, please stay and support your village elders who are working to bring you the many benefits of governance."

Commanding Officer 2 PARA, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Harrison, said: "The extension of our security presence into this area is significant. We have struck a blow right into the heart of the insurgency in Nahr-e Saraj.

"Yesterday, this area was a command and control node for those who subjugated Afghan and British soldiers.

"Today soldiers patrol together to bring security in order to open the door for development, education and the rule of law."