ASIA PACIFIC Date Posted: 04-Jun-2010 Jane's Defence Weekly Norwegian unit loses equipment in Taliban ambushes John Berg JDW Correspondent -Oslo An unofficial list from army sources has revealed that a Norwegian unit operating with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan lost important equipment to Taliban insurgents in two ambushes in Ghowrmach province on 2 May. The Norwegian force of less than 20 had nine wounded, two of them seriously, after first being engaged at 200-600 m and then at close quarters near to the village of Tutak. Air support allowed the force to be extracted in IVECO light armoured vehicles after about six hours. The equipment that was left behind, some of it destroyed or at least partly damaged during the fighting, could not be completely destroyed by close air support assets due to civilians gathering immediately after the withdrawal. The equipment includes two 12.7 mm Barrett M82A1 anti-material rifles with significant amounts of ammunition, probably Nammo multipurpose; one 84 mm Carl Gustav recoilless rifle with significant amounts of ammunition, probably anti-personnel; two 5.56 mm FN Minimi light machine guns; two 7.62 mm HK G3 machine guns; advanced optical sights on all weapons and on one pair of infrared binoculars; a number of night-vision goggles; and one encrypted radio set, but without codebook. Contributing to the difficulty in extracting the equipment was the fact that most of it was mounted on four six-wheel all-terrain vehicles (ATV), which were also lost. Lieutenant Colonel John E Lien, director of communication and public affairs at the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, told Jane's : "The most important issue was that we managed to save all personnel out of this ambush situation. The equipment was left behind under heavy fire, and some of it is certainly damaged. "For obvious reasons, we don't want to be too specific about the type of equipment, but as indicated, there are different kinds of weapons in addition to four light ATVs that were lost." The colonel added that "great proficiency in all parts of the rescue operation - the fighting and decisions on the ground, the resolute action from the medevac helicopters in a hot landing zone and the two military hospitals in Maymaneh and Mazar-e-Sharif - all contributed to saving lives in this situation".