SURGE OPERATION BY 1ST BATTALION THE RIFLES IN THE NAWA-I-BARAKZAYI DISTRICT, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN, 6 MARCH 2009 (TAPE 1) [Allocated Title]
Members of 1st Battalion the Rifles, accompanied by the Afghan National Army (ANA), come under fire while patrolling in the Nawa-i-Barakzayi district.GH GH
View from top cover of a Pinzgauer truck. Members of the Rifles, accompanied by the Afghan National Army (ANA) crouch by roadside in rural area as they prepare; they move up as an ANA pickup with gun mounting blocks the road. Soldiers advance on foot past fields and past compounds. Suddenly there is the sound of rapid gunfire - cameraman takes cover as soldiers crouch on the edge of a field and return fire. Gunfire can be heard, but for extended sequences only grass and sky can be heard as the cameraman takes cover: occasional shots over the grass-line show soldiers firing: occasionally Afghan soldiers run towards forward positions carrying rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). Distant clouds of smoke can be seen (the result of RPGs). The Rifles also advance as a body ("f*** me", one of them says in reaction to the tense situation). RPG explodes in the field close to the platoon; soldiers and cameraman advance along the edge of the field. Camera is put down and falls on its side, giving static image of ground and sky (firefight can be heard continuing) before being picked up again and advancing. Machine gun positions are set up: British and Afghan troops, under cover at the edge of the field, return fire using small arms and underslung grenade launchers. The soldiers slowly advance, firing all the time (combat photographer can be seen taking shots of the advancing troops): they close in on a compound where the enemy. Some of the soldiers wade through a narrow water-filled ditch close to the camera; morale remains high despite the intense situation. Advance continues, wading through the ditch, which at this point is lined by trees. Firing continues, but is less intense. The soldiers climb out of the ditch and regroup behind the cover of a wall.
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