Gurkha's back, Beheading Taliban's in Afghanistan
A Gurkha solider who beheaded a Taliban gunman and carried his head back to base in a bag has been cleared to resume his duties. The private, from 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles, was involved in a fierce firefight with insurgents in the Babaji area of central Helmand Province when the incident took place earlier last July.
The Nepalese soldier, who is in his early 20s, apparently made the decision to remove the head in a misunderstanding over the need for DNA evidence of the kill. His unit had been told that they were seeking a ‘high value target,’ a Taliban commander, and that they must prove they had killed the right man.
The Gurkhas had intended to remove the Taliban leader’s body from the battlefield for identification purposes. However, Army sources revealed at the time that he told investigators he had unsheathed his kukri – the symbolic weapon of the Gurkhas – after running out of ammunition.
'Thankfully he has been returned to normal duties having had a question mark hanging over his future for some time,' a military source told The Sun. 'This particular Gurkha is good soldier and has a good record.' The Gurkha faced a court martial and possible jail sentence if he had been found guilty of a war crime.
However, the decision taken was that the soldier was fighting for his life and did not have time to reload his weapon as his victim attacked. The Gurkhas had intended to remove the Taliban leader’s body from the battlefield for identification purposes.
But they came under heavy fire as their tried to do so. Military sources said that in the heat of battle, the Gurkha took out his curved kukri knife and beheaded the dead insurgent. He is understood to have removed the man’s head from the area, leaving the rest of his body on the battlefield.
This is considered a gross insult to the Muslims of Afghanistan, who bury the entire body of their dead even if parts have to be retrieved. British soldiers often return missing body parts once a battle has ended so the dead can be buried in one piece.
- Daily Mail