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Operation Diesel

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Operation Diesel

Operation Diesel
Part of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Date February 6–7, 2009
Location Sangin, Afghanistan
Result Coalition victory
Belligerents
 United Kingdom
Afghanistan Afghanistan
Afghanistan Taliban insurgents
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom Gordon Messenger
United Kingdom Jim Morris
?
Strength
700–800 Unknown
Casualties and losses
None 20 killed

Operation Diesel was a raid by 700 British troops from the Royal Marines 45 Commando, 42 Commando, and the 3 Commando Brigade's Reconnaissance Force, as well as armoured infantry and close reconnaissance from 1st Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) on a Taliban drug factory and arms stronghold in the Upper Sangin Valley in Helmand province, Afghanistan on February 7, 2009. According to the UK, the raid captured four drug factories and heroin and opium worth £50 million.

These figures were later found to be inaccurate. No heroin was found but 1260kg of opium and a large quantity of the chemicals needed to make heroin were found and destroyed. The 1260kg of opium would make roughly 130kg of heroin. The total value of the opium seized was approximately $126,000 based on the farmgate price of opium in Afghanistan.

Twenty Taliban fighters defending the drugs were killed. No UK personnel were killed in the assault. The raiders also captured a motorbike which had been primed as a suicide bomb.

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