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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