Ambush of the Common Sort

08 November 2009

Got a ping today about an attack on the road between Jalalabad and Kabul.  It's a dangerous road and I don't like to drive it.  The source has always been reliable, so I pinged Tim Lynch (who often is on that road), and Tim just sent these pics and a quick narrative.  (Unedited, and my post also coming via Blackberry.)  Tim writes:

The ambush happened around 0845 or so on the west side of the Duranta Tunnel.  Steve and I rolled out to look - the fuel convoy had security escorts from Compass security and they plus some ANP are who you see up in the ridges.  Three tankers were burning and three more were shot up and leaking fuel all over the place.  There was a section of OH-58's up and after about 20 minutes of figuring out who was who on the ground they started in on the bad guys with rockets and mini gun.

There was still some fighting going on when we arrived and few rounds came our way but were very high and not to close.  The bad guys had one belt fed which opened up briefly - the Blue Compass/ANP guys clearly had the momentum and used damn good fire discipline - we only heard volleys when the Taliban exposed themselves and those volleys were not that long.

The Army claims four KIA from the OH's which is not doubt true given how low they were scouting about for targets - there is no cover out there just fingers and draws and the security guys were putting pressure on the Ambush team to keep moving which exposed them to the birds.



# Den Be 2009-11-08 02:21
Nice chaps, good work.
One for the good guys.
Keep it up.
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# dennis 2009-11-08 09:54
will for once,this has work out for the good guys. to have two OH-58's in the area. and to have a team with the truck's
that knew how to do there job. may send a message. but it did help that the bad guys did not think it out.
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# David M 2009-11-08 16:48
what exactly was the cause of the damage as far as the trucks on fire, where there road side bombs? rpg? or is that all from small arms and the belt fed causing leaks that then ignited?
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# David M 2009-11-08 16:55
As for the enemy kia, are bodies just left where they fall where they may decompose or perhaps be found by locals or family who may provide a burial? Does the US military send a team to collect unclaimed bodies for the morgue, kinda like the spca does with dead dogs found in the road here in the US.
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# Kevlaur 2009-11-08 20:15
Three tankers burning and three shot up is not a 'win.' Preventing the attack in the first place is a win. However, I'm happy to see the good comment on the ANP.
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# Cindy T 2009-11-09 05:51
Kevlaur...what is your problem? I don't think those truck drivers keeping their lives counts as a no win... property your #1 goal? The taliban were stopped in the act! Hunted down and shot! That is a win in anybody's book but another Islamist!
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# John S 2009-11-10 18:20
We lost no lives, and that is great!
We did lose 5 tankers full of fuel--fuel that will not get to whomever requested it. The secondary and tertiery effects are not stated, but people usually aren't happy when they don't get the gas they ordered.
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# cindy T 2009-11-11 07:19
How many tankers would not take to the road afterward if these troops were not willing to oversee this and other operations?
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# saddened 2009-11-13 04:45
I know! Let's all get into a pissing contest about if this is a "win" or not.
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# Kevlaur 2009-11-16 05:44
Cindy T,I was a bit hasty, however anytime the insurgents attack and we lose property (yes, I said 'we'... I'm in Afghanistan... where are you?) the 'Islamist' as you call them 'win.' They can post videos/pictures of this attack on websites (like this one: and they can use the videos to show how to successfully attack again... and possible get away next time. I have seen no reports stating all responsible were 'hunted down and shot.' Have you? Had we had intel on the attack in the first place and rolled up the cell, section, unit, what have you, that would have been a win. I'm good with no lives lost... trust me. And, as I stated, I'm happy with the ANP's performance.
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# CFL68 2009-11-30 16:40
But relying on contractors dooms us. We cannot afford it. We cannot afford crazy research into fancy anti-rpg missile systems that cost millions to stop a sinngle 50$ grenade launched under test conditions...

Think of what it cost to try to deliver that fuel - security, helos, etc., and a large portion of convoy destroyed by a handful of insurgents with small arms...

This is crazy.
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