British soldier survives RPG attack

May 13, 2008 at 6:15 PM
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LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, May 13 (UPI) -- A British lieutenant in Afghanistan narrowly escaped a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade attack after an RPG bounced off the soldier's chest and exploded nearby.

The British B company, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, supported by an Afghan National Army unit, was recently on an operation pushing into Taliban territory in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province near Musa Qaleh. The units came under heavy RPG fire from militants, including one RPG that hit British Lt. David Robertson, the British Ministry of Defense said.

Officials say that although Robertson was driving in an armored vehicle, one RPG bounced off his body, split into three parts and then detonated nearby. The explosion left Robertson with burns on his arm and side. Because of the delayed explosion, Robertson narrowly avoided being killed.

"It must have just skipped off me and went to my left and detonated on the fully open gunners hatch," Robertson said in a statement. "I was knocked backwards. I hit the back of the turret pretty hard. I remember a big bang and a heat wave and then felt burning in my arm and side."

Three Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in the attack. Officials say an airstrike was called in to clear out the Taliban stronghold.

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