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    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    Brit sniper, 600 metres, behind 12 yr old

    Without a single doubt, though, the prize for the best shot of the tour went to Fitz.

    It came at the height of the siege in August when we were dropping double figures every day. Slim and lanky, Fitzy was the sort of bloke who'd never say ten words if one would do.

    But put a long in his hands and he'd never miss a thing. Ever. He was like a robot, it was scary.

    Some Mehdi Army were more obliging than others. A surprisingly large amount of them were intent on martyrdom. They'd just charge us in full view blazing away any old how.

    It would have been churlish not to have given them what they wanted, so the lads dispatched them to their 72 virgins without any further ado.

    Other fighters were a lot more devious — and harder to kill.

    A few of the enemy struck on a particularly cynical ploy of using the refugees' mud huts and slum housing on the river's north bank as cover points to attack us.

    Old women and kids would be ordered at gunpoint to stand at their windows or doorways.

    Hiding behind civilians has been a coward's trick I've seen the world over — from Belfast to Bosnia.

    How they justified that against the allegedly moral aim of their jihad was beyond me. The scumbags hadn't counted on Fitzy though. After a day or so of us seeing this, he came up with an idea. "I can do one of those sods, Danny. If you flush them out, I'll keep my eye on the door."

    "You sure, mate? Wasting some old Doris's kid by mistake isn't going to help our cause much, you know."


    I took his word for it.

    There was one hut the fighters were particularly fond of, about 600 metres away. We waited for the next "holy warrior" to go inside it and push out the human shields.

    Ten minutes later, one turned up. He was a well-built bloke in his 40s with a bushy beard.

    Once he was inside, Fitzy and I lined up our longs on the building from the rooftop sangar.

    I took aim at the open window two feet to the left of the door, where we'd seen the guy's muzzle flash. Fitzy concentrated solely on the door frame.

    I put a round right into the window's top right-hand corner, behind which I could see straight on to the back wall.

    Convinced we were going to waste him in there, the gunman came out, crouching low behind a girl who looked about 12.

    Brandishing his AK in his right hand, he pulled the screaming child's body close to his with his left arm wrapped around her neck.

    Crablike, he began to slowly shuffle both of them along the building's front wall.

    Fitzy let him move three feet before he released his round. The bullet ripped into the middle, fleshy part of the man's lower neck.

    It made a big old mess, spraying fountains of blood over the girl's head until she threw off his weakening grip.

    He gradually sank down the wall to the floor, choking and making feeble efforts to stop the blood flow with both hands.

    Thirty seconds later, he was dead.

    "Sorry, mate," came Fitz's brief verdict. "F****d with the wrong platoon, didn't you.",,2-2007380676,00.html



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