British Sniper Clocks Up 39

August 5th, 2006  

Topic: British Sniper Clocks Up 39

A BRITISH sniper waging war on the Taliban is so deadly he has earned a chilling nickname — The Man Who Never Misses.

The unerring Army sharpshooter has killed 39 rebel fighters single-handedly.

His marksmanship is so lethal that rumours have spread like wildfire through insurgents’ camps, causing panic and confusion.

The sniper — who The Sun is not naming to prevent him becoming a target himself — is a member of elite 3 Para.

Described by sources as “the best shot in the Army” he is responsible for over five per cent of the 700 insurgents killed by Paras since British forces returned to Afghanistan.

He is based in the wild Helmand province, where our troops launched a massive assault on the Taliban this week.

A source said yesterday: “This sniper is truly something else — a silent assassin.

“In the deadly terrain of southern Afghanistan, where guerilla warfare rules, he has been invaluable. The rumours are sweeping enemy camps that he is the man who never misses.”

The sniper’s actual toll is probably higher than 39 but the Taliban’s tendency to reclaim bodies makes deaths difficult to confirm.

His lethal L96A1 rifle has a range of 1,000 yards and is fitted with electronic sights and laser range-finders.

He works with a partner called a spotter, who locates the target and helps judge wind speed and distance so the bullet travels accurately.

Each day the pair risk their lives away from fellow Paras, taking up covert positions and often lying hidden for as long as ten hours at a time. Once the shot has been fired they need nerves of steel to stay concealed while Taliban rebels wielding rocket-propelled grenades and machine-guns desperately try to hunt them down.

The Ministry of Defence would not discuss the crackshot for security reasons.

But he is regarded as one of the most successful British snipers since World War Two.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the Army is creating an elite force of almost 700 snipers, with all 38 infantry battalions required to have an 18-man platoon of sharpshooters by 2008. It will be the first time formal sniper platoons will have existed since the end of the First World War in 1918.

The decision follows the success of British and US sniper teams who have killed dozens of terrorists on recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2003 Royal Marines sniper Corporal Matt Hughes killed an Iraqi gunman from 900 yards with a “wonder shot” in which he aimed 56ft to the left and 35ft high to allow for wind.

The bullet’s trajectory was calculated by his spotter after he studied the movement of dust in the breeze. And Irish Guards Sergeant Eddie Waring lay on a roof for hours to take out three Iraqis who were laying mines in Basra

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