Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lt Nazar Mohammed at war from age 14

From UK Forces Afghanistan:

Afghanistan special report: Lt Nazar Mohammed at war from age 14

February 23, 2011

by Chris Hughes, Daily Mirror
Pictures by Andy Stenning

Behind enemy lines in Afghanistan: Day Two

THEY call him The Commander. And sitting on a compound roof raking Taliban positions with his PK machine gun this grizzled Charles Bronson lookalike is a master of the terrible art of war.

Lieutenant Nazar Mohammed is a near-legendary Tajik warrior who has been at war since 14 when he picked up a gun to avenge his brother’s death.

Then he was a mujahedeen fighting the Russians, now he is commanding a heavy weapons platoon of battle-hardened Afghan National Army soldiers on the Helmand front line.

These are the British and American-trained troops whose new soldiering skills will be the legacy our forces leave behind when they withdraw by 2015.

More than 12,000 are now fully trained in Helmand – just under half the 30,000 needed to secure the flashpoint province – once the Taliban heartland.

All over Afghanistan there are just over 157,000 trained ANA.


The lethal Soviet-made, belt-fed machine gun looks like an extension of the 35-year-old father of two’s arm as he calmly blasts the insurgents, his loyal men applauding every burst.

After 20 minutes he shrugs and climbs down, nodding at Lieutenant Rhydian Emlyn-Williams.

It’s as if he is telling his British adviser – 12 years his junior: “That’s how you deal with the Taliban Afghan-style.”

When RPGs go bang and bullets fly Lt Nazar doesn’t even blink....

Go read the rest of this here.

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