Taliban weapons recovered from assault on COP Margah

COP-Margah-weapons-haul.jpg

The photo above shows a sampling of the enemy weapons recovered from the area around Combat Outpost Margah in Paktika province, Afghanistan, in the aftermath of the Oct. 30 attack by the Haqqani Network and allied foreign fighters. More than 80 Haqqani Network and “foreign fighters” (al Qaeda) were reported killed in the attack; an Afghan official claimed that over 80 bodies had been left behind.

The weapons displayed in the photo appear to be from the heavy weapons element or support team. At least two PK belt-fed machine guns and three RPG launchers are shown. It is possible that those heavy infantry weapons were recovered from different locations around the COP perimeter. Also seen (in front of the balaklava-wearing soldier) is a belt of US 40mm grenades for the Mark 19 automatic grenade launcher. No confirmation that this Taliban element had a Mark 19 or M-203 grenade launcher, but it also cannot be assumed that they did not. There also appear to be at least half a dozen AK series rifles in that recovered enemy weapons haul.

This CNN video shows between 30 and 50 additional AK-series rifles that were also recovered after the battle. The close-up (2:33 mark) shows a mix of AK-47 and AKM assault rifle types with very little of the usual Afghan adornment. The relative lack of adornment suggests recently issued small arms and/or professional fighters who knew how to take care of their equipment. Based on the amount of recovered belted machine gun ammunition, there were likely more than the two or three belt-fed machine guns shown recovered. Also noted in that CNN video is a US soldier’s account of the Taliban temporarily overrunning and capturing an MRAP vehicle and then using it against the COP’s defenders. This also speaks of professionals with more then just common knowledge of US weapons systems and equipment.

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8 Comments

  • Chris says:

    The troops are just awesome.
    60 soldiers vs upwards of 80 fighters, and only a couple troops suffer very minor injuries. No casualties. All 80 fighters dead, and some outlets reported 120 dead!
    An absolute ownage.

  • Charu says:

    What does this mean? Where are they getting these US arms from? From Pakistan’s duplicitous military or from Afghan military defectors or from the Iraq theater? Aren’t there serial numbers that can be tracked? And their knowledge of the MRAP; again Afghan defectors? Interdict the Taliban’s sources for arms, ammo and money and the war is won.

  • Wounded on Warpath says:

    Margah COP is located in Paktika Province in the Bermel District of Afghanistan not “Paktia” Province.

  • Jesse Woods says:

    Chris – Yes they are. Most of the reports I’ve seen mention that the attackers numbered “several hundred.” An 80-0 kill ratio is indeed pure pownage in gamerspeak.
    Charu – There are a number of possiblities as to where that particular belt of 40mm came from. Captured previously in another attack, captured from the listening post’s jammed Mark 19 that night, stolen from a supply container in transit within Pakistan etc. Yes there are serial numbers or production date codes, but from this distance away, it’s impossible for me to tell. I have little doubt that US military intel in the field has already determined the source of most if not all of those weapons. Knowledge of the interior layout and functions of the various MRAP vehicles isn’t entirely difficult to get (much of it is on-line), but does require an enemy commander to think about looking for it and knowing where to look.
    Wounded on Warpath – You are absolutely correct. The typo is one I make all too often with those two provinces. Thanks for catching it, it’s fixed.

  • My2Cents says:

    They must have been either hurt bad or in danger of being captured to leave so many bodies.
    Hope we got go biometric data. It could have an interesting effect on Taliban / al-Qaeda recruitment if patrols regularly dropped by families to let them know where their ‘idiot sons’ were buried.

  • nobody says:

    The reason INS picked COP Margah is because of it’s location. The COP is in the low ground surrounded by high ground on three sides. The only protection is the small OP that was over run to the east. How did the enemy get so close to the OP that they over ran it? The MRAP was fully functional and not destroyed when the enemy took it over. To the contrary of a previous post, the MRAP is classified and is not that simple to put into use if you are not trained on it. The fact is that air and artillery support saved that COP from being over run completely. It is in horrible terrain and poorly manned. The OP is a speed bump as proven by the fact that it was over run in minutes. There were probably upward of 180-200 fighters in the mountains around Margah and east toward Pakistan just waiting for the word that the COP itself had been breached. What is amazing is that the unit there knew a large scale attack was imminent but did not reinforce the COP with any additional manpower. These guys got lucky. No doubt they will get hit again if they don’t make some improvements.

  • No Name says:

    First off I would like to say that I was there the night this happened. I would also like to rule out all the specualations and such from the other comments I have read. The claim about US weapons, LOL, They had no US weapons of any type. I’m not sure where this report came from but I carried the bodies first hand from their resting places and there was not a single US military weapon or piece of ammunition picked up from the INSF. Also, there were over 120 enemy fighters killed in that attack but a speculated 200+ fled back to Pakistan. We fought non-stop for two hours straight until attack helicopters and F-16’s showed up on station. They continued to engage and kill the INSF until that afternoon. Multiple soldiers were injured that day. But we fought hard and proud. And no matter what is said about this day from those who did not and will not experience it in their lifetime, no one can take what we did away from us. God blessed us that night.

  • chris b says:

    The 40mm belt of ammo the author refers to in front of the baclava clad soldier is a row of hand grenades..I did the BDA (battle damage assesment ) for a week after the attack and laid the items on the sheet. So I would suggest to the author to get a magnifying glass and look at the photo a little better before making statements.

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