Leeds & West Yorkshire

Radio saves soldier from Taliban insurgent's bullet

A soldier from West Yorkshire has told how he came close to death after a bullet hit his radio during a firefight with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

Cpl Paddy Dyson, 28, from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, was pinned down in a field in Helmand Province when he came under fire.

The soldier, from Leeds, crawled "for his life" to make it to cover after a round hit his backpack radio antenna.

The insurgents fled when Cpl Dyson's comrades and Afghan police opened fire.

His platoon commander, from 6 Platoon B Company, said: "All we could do was fire over his head at the insurgents and scream at him to keep crawling towards us."

Village attacks

Cpl Dyson, the platoon's second-in-command, said: "The Taliban fire had been accurate all day. As the patrol came to an end we extracted north and were shot at from two different firing points simultaneously.

"As the last man in the patrol I found myself pinned to the ground in the middle of a ploughed field with the nearest cover being a wall 50m away."

He added: "The rounds were landing very close, and one even hit my backpack radio antenna.

"I just flipped on to my side to fire back and then began crawling for my life.

"Somehow, I made it without a scratch and launched myself over the other side and into cover."

Cpl Dyson said the incident had happened when the British soldiers and their police colleagues had patrolled deep into a village known to be held by the Taliban.

The operation took place after a police commander was injured by an improvised explosive device.

The patrol was attacked three times by insurgents in the village and came under fire for a fourth as they left.

Platoon commander Capt Joe Stanton said: "When I heard the fire I looked over to the rear and saw a single figure face down in the field.

"There was what looked like a dust cloud surrounding him and bullets were kicking up the dirt just feet away from where he was lying."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites