Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Tuljung Gurung: Gurkha who was shot & hit by a grenade & then took on Taliban with only his Kukri

Heroic: Rifleman Tuljung Gurung, of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, who has been awarded a military cross after fighting off a Taliban terrorist with his kukri, a traditional Gurkha knife

‘I thought, “Before he does something I have to do something”. I was like a madman.’
~Tuljung Gurung

WHO:  Tuljung Gurung
WHAT: Fought Taliban with Kukri, after being shot and hit by a grenade

WHERE:  Patrol Base Sparta, in Nahr-e Seraj
WHEN:  March 22, 2013; 4 AM

Excerpted from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/:

Military Cross for hero Gurkha who was shot and hit by a grenade... then took on Taliban gunmen armed with only his ceremonial Kukri

  • Tuljung Gurung fought desperately to protect his comrades
  • He used traditional knife to slash attacker, forcing him to flee
  • Other soldiers were decorated for extraordinary bravery

By Ian Drury

A hero Gurkha has won the Military Cross after single-handedly fighting off two armed Taliban attacking an Afghan patrol base... with just his ceremonial Kukri knife.

Rifleman Tuljung Gurung tackled the gun-wielding insurgents armed only with his razor-sharp traditional Nepalese blade and forced them to flee.

Incredibly, the soldier - now an acting Lance Corporal - battled them despite being dazed after a bullet smashed directly into his helmet and he was knocked down by shockwaves from an enemy hand grenade which he threw to safety when it landed next to him.

Now the modest 28-year-old has won the third highest gallantry award for his courage in Afghanistan.

Acting L/Cpl Gurung received the Military Cross for stopping the extremists from reaching sleeping British soldiers in the Helmand compound.

Top brass said his selfless bravery had prevented a ‘potentially catastrophic loss of life’.

He is among 117 servicemen and women who received awards in the operational honours list, published today.

Most of the honours go to troops who served with 4 Mechanized Brigade in Helmand between October last year and April.

Acting L/Cpl Gurung, who serves with the Royal Gurkha Rifles, was on duty at Patrol Base Sparta, in Nahr-e Seraj, at 4am on March 22 when he spotted two Afghans running towards his sangar, or watchtower.

When he challenged them to stop, the insurgents opened fire with an AK47 assault rifle.

One of the rounds struck him on the helmet, knocking him to the ground. Groggily getting to his feet, he saw a grenade bounce into the tower.

Fearing it would explode, the married Gurkha picked it up and hurled it away a split-second before it detonated, the force of the blast throwing him to the floor.

But as the dust and debris settled, Acting L/Cpl Gurung came face-to-face with one of the Taliban who was climbing into the 3 metre high sangar.

L/Cpl Gurung drew his 18inch kukri and tenaciously took on the insurgent in hand-to-hand combat

Lacking room to aim his rifle, the soldier drew his 18inch kukri and tenaciously took on the insurgent in hand-to-hand combat.

During the fight, the pair plunged to the ground outside the base. In a life-or-death struggle, Acting L/Cpl Gurung continued to lash out with the blade.

He said: ‘He was quite a bit bigger than me. I just hit him in the hand, body, I just started to hit him.

‘I just thought, “I don’t want to die. If I am alive I can save my colleagues”.

‘I thought, “Before he does something I have to do something”. I was like a madman.’

Faced with his ferocity, the Taliban turned and fled. Acting L/Cpl Gurung’s citation said he had displayed the ‘highest levels of gallantry and courage’.

If you haven't already checked out other entries in this Gurkha/Kukri Spotlight series please see:



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