A Kukri has its own nomenclature. From khukrimuseum.com

There’s an art and a science to the lopping-off of heads… not to mention a tradition. A Kukri has its own nomenclature. From khukrimuseum.com

We covered this Nepalese soldier of the Queen’s plight back in August, and noted that he returned to duty in July, after initial media reports that he beheaded a prisoner were proven false.

Earlier news reports had the British commander of troops in Afghanistan, Richard Kemp, condemning the Gurkha private, and anonymous British staff officers calling him a war criminal.

[I]nvestigation showed that the headless Talib was a combat casualty, not a desecrated corpse…

So, for whatever reason, the attempt to throw the book at this young soldier got cut off at the… knees. The amazing, Lord Love a Duck aspect of the whole thing is that the ruperts attempted this in the first place. What were they thinking?

Turns out, he did whack the guy’s head off (the Talib in question already having shuffled off this mortal coil). But he had a good reason, which was not reported at the time. Now comes the Daily Mail with more detail:

The private, from 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles, was involved in a fierce firefight with insurgents in the Babaji area of central Helmand Province when the incident took place earlier last July.

The Nepalese soldier, who is in his early 20s, apparently made the decision to remove the head in a misunderstanding over the need for DNA evidence of the kill.

His unit had been told that they were seeking a ‘high value target,’ a Taliban commander, and that they must prove they had killed the right man.

The Gurkhas had intended to remove the Taliban leader’s body from the battlefield for identification purposes.

However, Army sources revealed at the time that he told investigators he had unsheathed his kukri – the symbolic weapon of the Gurkhas – after running out of ammunition.

‘Thankfully he has been returned to normal duties having had a question mark hanging over his future for some time,’ a military source told The Sun.

‘This particular Gurkha is good soldier and has a good record.’

The deceased, now headless, Talib turned out not to be the HVT the Gurkhas were hunting — that time, anyway. The final disposition of the Talib’s head is unknown.

Anyone for buzkashi?

This entry was posted in Lord Love a Duck, Media vs. Military, Unconventional Warfare on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

One thought on “Gurkha had a reason for Talib beheading


Say, Sarn’t Major, what’s all this fuss about Pvt. Chopalottanoggins pulling his khukri on one of the local chaps? Why would he do a thing like that?

Well Sir, that particular local chap was a Taliban, sir, and was shooting at the lads.

Really? You don’t say! Well, then tell him ‘Pip pip, there’s a good chap’, and all that. Carry on, Sarn’t Major. Must be off.

Sir! Straightaway, sir!