February 23, 2011

Afghanistan special report: Lt Nazar Mohammed at war from age 14

From Helmand Blog - Afghanistan by MediaOps -
THEY call him The Commander. And sitting on a compound roof raking Taliban positions with his PK machine gun this grizzled Charles Bronson lookalike is a master of the terrible art of war.

Lieutenant Nazar Mohammed is a near-legendary Tajik warrior who has been at war since 14 when he picked up a gun to avenge his brother’s death.

Then he was a mujahedeen fighting the Russians, now he is commanding a heavy weapons platoon of battle-hardened Afghan National Army soldiers on the Helmand front line.

These are the British and American-trained troops whose new soldiering skills will be the legacy our forces leave behind when they withdraw by 2015.

More than 12,000 are now fully trained in Helmand – just under half the 30,000 needed to secure the flashpoint province – once the Taliban heartland.

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