Great Britain’s equivalent of the American Navy Seals are the Special Air Service (SAS) fighters, the British Army’s most renowned special forces unit. One SAS sergeant fighting the terrorist Taliban in Afghanistan in January showed why SAS forces rank with the best in the world in a harrowing confrontation with six Taliban fighters in a nearly pitch-black tunnel.
After the SAS fighters had destroyed a Taliban base, six Taliban fighters escaped into an underground cave complex in northern Afghanistan; one of the fighters was a “high-value target.” The series of tunnels were perfect for claustrophobia; less than two feet wide, four feet high, and almost completely dark. Then the 29-year-old sergeant, a veteran who had fought in Iraq, took it upon himself to pursue the Taliban fighters.
A source told The Daily Star:
The mission had only been partially successful because the base was destroyed, but the SAS were after a “high-value target” and he had escaped into the tunnels. It was pretty clear none of the Afghan commandos was going to go in after him so he volunteered. There wasn’t enough room to use a long-barreled weapon so the Brit used his Glock 9mm pistol and grabbed a claw hammer. He couldn’t see the Taliban but he could hear and smell them. He shot three of them dead one after the other but then his pistol jammed. He fought two more in the dark where the tunnel opened into a larger room that was partially lit by a candle. After he killed those two, he was attacked by another but killed him almost instantly with a single blow.
The Daily Star reported that the soldier said the 30-minute fight was the most difficult of his military career. For over an hour after he came back above ground, he could not speak because of the enormous stress the action caused him.