Military

Afghanistan Cave Complexes 1979-2004: Mountain strongholds by Mir Bahmanyar

By Mir Bahmanyar

Following the Soviet invasion in 1979, the Mujahideen defenders of Afghanistan constructed and bolstered many ordinary cave platforms to take advantage of as offer bases and protective positions. The Taliban and Al Qaeda additional bolstered those positions within the Nineties. Following the occasions of September eleven, 2001, those cave structures have once again come to prominence and websites akin to Tora Bora and Zhawar Kili have featured in information headlines all over the world. This identify offers an research of those caves and underground platforms, and discusses the U.S.-led Coalition's tactical method of dislodging the enemy from those fortified positions.

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Additional info for Afghanistan Cave Complexes 1979-2004: Mountain strongholds of the Mujahideen, Taliban & Al Qaeda (Fortress, Volume 26)

Sample text

The caves were up to 30ft (10m) long, 12ft (4m) wide and 10ft (3m) tall, with walls faced with brick. The cave entrances were covered with brightly painted powerful iron doors. There were 41 caves in all, all with electricity. Behind a fence stood a mosque with a beautiful brick entrance and a hospital with new medical equipment that was manufactured in the United States. There was even an ultrasound machine, which was moved to Khost hospital. There was nickel-plated furniture, including adjustable beds, and a library with English-language and Farsi-language books.

The tank was serviced, fueled and had new batteries. It started right up and drove out of the service bay. ” There was overstuffed furniture inside and the floors were covered with carpets. A soldier remarked how many aircraft had worked this site over and the hotel and caves were still intact. The Afghan soldiers began to loot the base. Even the 2m-high brick facing wall was pulled down and hauled back to Khost. The DRA had no intention of staying in Zhawar long enough for the Mujahideen to organize a counterattack, and the Mujahideen were already moving up to the Pakistan border to fire on the communist forces.

The commander, Jalaluddin Haqani, who had just arrived from Miram Shah, was among those trapped in the second cave. Other Soviet bombers followed with conventional ordnance. They dropped tons of bombs and, in so doing, blasted away the rubble blocking the cave entrances. The trapped Mujahideen escaped. The battle for the remaining landing zones continued. There was one group of commandos on high ground who held out for three days before they were finally overrun. The chief of counter-reconnaissance in one of the commando battalions managed to exfiltrate and lead 24 of the commandos to the safety of their own forces, a trip that took eight days.

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