- Published: Saturday, 03 September 2011 16:04
- Written by Combined Task Force Spartan Public Affairs Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR #: 20110901-005
Coalition Forces Seize 82mm Recoilless Rifle from Insurgents near Nalgham
NALGHAM, ZHARAY DISTRICT, Afghanistan – While manning a checkpoint near the village of Nalgham Saturday, coalition forces were engaged by small arms fire and a single round from an 82mm recoilless rifle, seizing the weapon after one of the insurgents was killed.
The Soldiers with Combined Task Force Spartan’s Attack Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, were setting up a checkpoint when they were engaged by insurgents with small arms and the recoilless rifle. Aerial attack and reconnaissance assets arrived on scene, and identified an insurgent carrying a cylindrical object. The insurgent was seen walking into a mosque, and then back outside where he stashed the object in a side building.
A second insurgent was seen laying out ammunition, and then the two insurgents mounted a motorcycle and returned to the same area they were seen attacking from earlier. After an hour of observing the two and seeing them stash the recoilless rifle in a grape field, coalition forces launched a Hellfire missile at them, killing one of them.
Helicopters on scene continued their observation of the weapons system, and prevented anybody on the ground from moving to the site. The helicopter crew marked the site with smoke and an Attack Company platoon successfully to secure the weapon.
The Commander of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. Kenneth Mintz, said that Afghan civilians living in the area actually warned coalition forces of a pending large-scale attack and left the area. He also said that insurgents had once considered Nalgham a safe haven, and used the village as a planning base for their operations.
A recoilless rifle is a long-barreled, anti-tank weapon capable of firing artillery-type shells at a range and velocity comparable to that of a normal light cannon, and are common throughout Afghanistan.
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