A shot fired by a British Army sniper at a suspected Taliban fighter in Afghanistan last December ended up killing not just the man in the marksman's sights but also five other men who were thought to be militant soldiers, The Telegraph reports.
News of the unidentified sniper's shot is just being made public this week. Lt. Col. Richard Slack, the marksman's commanding officer, tells the Telegraph that the bullet apparently set off explosives in a vest that the targeted man was wearing. Or, perhaps the man fell on the trigger.
"The sniper engaged him and the guy exploded," Slack says in the Telegraph's report. "There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said, 'I think I've just shot a suicide bomber.' The rest of them were killed in the blast."
According to Slack, the suspected Taliban fighters were engaged in a firefight with British and Afghan forces when the sniper fired on them from about 930 yards away.
The same sniper, Slack says, has also killed a Taliban machine-gunner with a shot fired from 1,465 yards away — only 300 yards short of a mile.
Highly skilled snipers in the British, U.S. and other militaries can hit targets from quite far away. Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who became known as the "American Sniper" for his accounts of action in Iraq, once hit an insurgent from about 1.2 miles away. Kyle and a friend died in February 2013 when a former Marine they were trying to counsel allegedly opened fire on them at a gun range.