It had been about four years since I was initially posted in
An example of such an incident occurred a year ago when I was asked to move twenty five miles south of
A kill usually requires waiting at the selected location without moving for hours at end. The life of a sniper tends to slow down immediately following the murder when the enemies search for him. Time stands still when you wish it sped along as it used to before the kill. Even worse is the fact that you are now in the enemy’s stronghold. Woe be told if you get caught after a kill. Such times require a sniper to hold still in his position, affirm faith in his training and suppress savage urges to make a dash for it.
Twelve such missions later, I am now considered to be one of the best marksmen in the army. The posting in
What I saw in the bunker was gut wrenching. The soldiers were naked and were being systematically torn limb to limb. One had died already. The target for the kill was right before my scope and I was able to see his head shatter at the impact of my bullet. I was then given the order to kill no one else but turn back. It is beyond words to describe what was felt to leave back my country men at the hands of furious butchers, who by now had discovered the dead body of their leader.
Since then I had been repeatedly rebuffing any new assault operation upon the enemy and had restricted myself to operating within the base as a lookout. The lookout’s job is much easier due to the fact that there are not many marksmen who could challenge us. The lone enemy rifleman I had noticed a week back was easily identifiable even for a plain clothes policeman and did not require my bullet to be taken care of.
The final operation that I had been handled was the most important one since the day I have had the M40 placed in my arms. The president of the occupying forces was due to arrive the next day and I was briefed about the situation and job the night before. Most of the forces at the base had no idea about the presidential arrival when he entered the breakfast scene. It was about nine thirty in the morning. There was the usual handshakes and backslapping that went around the camp.
All this time I was on post near the top of the water supply tank. My job only began when the president comes out in the open environment to travel to the outer fence to meet the patrol men. It was act meant to show the bravery of the president who instigated, and was now carrying out a war from the safe haven of his office.
My watch showed nine fifty two when the president started walking towards the convoy that was a hundred feet away from the tents. I was watching him through my scope. It was then that I met the glare. It was another sniper no doubt. Briefing information I had from my command I knew that there were to be no coalition snipers in that part of the hills that surrounded the ground. I quickly changed the accuracy and strained my eyes to identify him. It was definitely an enemy in the hiding. I could make out that he was nearly ready for the kill.
The man was clearly not a professional but he was now moving into position. My experience in what had happened in the last six years of my duty suddenly ran across my eyes. Two of my fellow marksmen have been killed within the last year at least. Added to this were more than 3200 other unknown countrymen who nevertheless laid out their life in gruesome conditions. My most trusted partner was one of them. He has left behind a son and a wife just like those of the Imam I had killed. I tried to clear my head. It was common for these thoughts to occur in such an intense situation. With steady hands I focused my top mounted scope at the target. My load was already in the barrel. It was always the case when on duty. What I finally saw from the scope of the rifle before I squeezed the trigger one last time was the gray hair and the blue presidential suit that dominated the sight as I took aim for the forehead. Killing a man who led more than three thousand of his own people and sixty five thousand of fellow humans, to death can never be wrong, can it?