A British sniper killed six enemy combatants in Afghanistan with a single shot when he hit the trigger switch of a suicide bomber, causing the device to explode.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the 20-year-old marksman’s shot, fired from 930 yards away, killed the suicide bomber and five others in the ensuing blast in Kakaran in Southern Afghanistan.
“The guy was wearing a vest. He was identified by the sniper moving down a tree line and coming up over a ditch,” Lt. Col. Richard Slack told The Telegraph. “He had a shawl on. It rose up and the sniper saw he had a machine gun.”
“They were in contact and he was moving to a firing position. The sniper engaged him and the guy exploded. There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said, 'I think I’ve just shot a suicide bomber.’”
According to military officials, a second suicide vest packed with 44lbs of explosives was found nearby, leading them to conclude that the sniper prevented a major attack by the Taliban.
The soldier, a lance corporal in the Coldstream Guards, was believed to be using an L115A3 gun -- the Army’s most powerful sniper weapon. The sniper had previously killed a Taliban machine-gunner from 1,465 yards with his first shot on the tour of duty, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The incident occurred in December, but was only recently disclosed. British armed forces are decreasing their presence in Helmand province, and handing over the majority of security operations to the Afghan armed forces.
Since the conflict began in 2001, 448 UK soldiers have died in Afghanistan.