NI soldiers escape Bastion rocket attack

NI soldiers escape Bastion rocket attack

A group of Northern Ireland soldiers have escaped injury after a rocket attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, as UTV's Paul Clark reports from the scene.

The heavily fortified desert base came under fire from Taliban insurgents on Wednesday.

A number of explosions were heard soon after the alarm sounded.

"As we ran, we heard a number of explosions - I can't recall how many. Were they close? They were close enough," Paul Clark, who is in Camp Bastion filming with the Territorial Army Unit, said.

"We arrived at the tent where I was told to put on my body army, including my helmet, and to lie flat on the ground until the all-clear was sounded."

We can confirm that a rocket attack against Camp Bastion took place on 27 February. No significant damage or casualties have been reported as a result of this incident.

Ministry of Defence

Paul confirmed that local reporters - including from the Belfast bases of the Press Association and the British Forces Broadcasting Service - and his own UTV cameraman were all safe.

After the all-clear, troops were ordered to search of unexploded devices and casualties, but a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence has confirmed that no one was injured in the attack.

"The all-clear was sounded some 40 minutes after the explosions," Paul added.

"This is the first attack on Camp Bastion since September of last year, when Prince Harry was here. On that occasion, there was a four-hour fire-fight when militants breached the perimeter fence. Two US Marines were killed."

The latest attack comes as UK forces in Helmand prepare to hand over to the next deploying brigade in what is known as the RIP (relief in place).


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