Death and swift revenge on Operation Dark Rest

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  1. From The Sunday Times
    February 28, 2010
    Death and swift revenge on Operation Dark Rest

    Brigade Reconnaissance Force head towards a strip of compounds that had been used by the Taliban
    IMAGE :1 of 2
    Miles Amoore in Nad-e-Ali, Helmand
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    THE patrol set off in darkness. Through fields of poppy and wheat, 100 men from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force stumbled towards their target, a strip of compounds that had been used by the Taliban to fire on British troops.

    “Right, lads, the Taliban are waking up. They’ve already pinged our position,” said Captain Andy Breach, the BRF’s intelligence officer, as he listened in to the insurgents’ radio under a moonless sky.

    Then the mine exploded. With an enormous, ear-piercing bang, a cone of earth and rock hurtled towards the heavens 40 yards in front of me in a flash of purple from the phosphate in the home-made improvised explosive device.

    “Contact IED!” Breach shouted into his radio.

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    An eerie pause followed as a plume of smoke spiralled away on the breeze above the dirt and gravel track we were following beside a canal. One of the soldiers shouted for a medic. As men raced past me, barking out orders in rasping voices, I sat on a bank in shock, an image of the explosion frozen in my mind.

    “Foxy, get your vallon [mine detector],” said Colour Sergeant Stew Cain, grabbing the nearest medic and running towards the seat of the explosion. “Start clearing the area in case there are more devices.”