Afghanistan – Royal Marines Storm IED Factory

From: Royal Marines Online

Royal Marines smash bomb factory and seize explosives

A bomb-making factory at the heart of one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan has been smashed in a high-profile operation by West-based Royal Marines.

In their biggest find to date, members of 40 Commando stormed an insurgent compound in the Sangin district of Helmand province.

They seized 40kg of homemade explosive, along with numerous weapons, pressure plates and components for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The Taunton-based group’s operation manager, Major Duncan Forbes said they had severely hampered insurgents in their efforts to undermine security in the area.

He said a stark message had been sent to enemy forces that there are no longer any “no-go” areas in the difficult Sangin District.

“We will ruthlessly target those who seek to destabilise the region,” said Maj Forbes.

The isolated IED factory was targeted after Royal Marines were involved in a series of fire fights with people based in compounds on high ground near a frontline Forward Operating Base and Patrol Base.

As a result of their suspicions being raised, the Royal Marines and their Afghan partners watched the area closely in advance.

The Commandos then leapt into action during a covert overnight insertion of troops from two separate locations, which involved a mobile Quick Reaction Force Patrol primed to support the operation.

At first light, the patrol made their final approach towards the compound where weapons were visible through the open archways.

Using their well-rehearsed Counter-IED drills, Royal Marines isolated the compound and, on discovering the explosives cache which could have been turned into lethal landmines and rockets, called in their experts.

The operation was a complete success with no casualties and no collateral damage, said Maj Forbes. The bomb disposal team destroyed the explosives and recovered the remaining items for further examination.

“It was like finding a mini factory of IEDs,” he said.

“All the components and materials required to construct them were stored inside the compound.”

Sangin is an area of Afghanistan’s Helmand province which has long been regarded as a powder keg.

The Taunton-based commandos took over the watch last month, the second time they have deployed to Sangin.

A marine from 40 Commando was killed in an explosion in Helmand Province yesterday.

His next of kin have been informed and he will be named later today.

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