[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 11:34 GMT
UK troops had faulty ammunition
3 Para troops in Helmand (photo: Cpl Rob Knight)
3 Para saw heavy fighting in Afghanistan's Helmand province
British soldiers in Afghanistan had to borrow ammunition from other Nato forces because of faulty rounds, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

Troops from 3 Para were lent rounds by American and Canadian forces for a month while fighting the Taleban.

The MoD said the issue came to light three months ago, and the faulty rounds had since been replaced.

The problem was highlighted after members of 3 Para posted a video on the YouTube sharing site.

According to reports in the Daily Telegraph, the soldiers refused to go on patrols until the ammunition was replaced.

The MoD could not confirm this.

While the MoD accepts there were problems with the .50 calibre rounds used in the Browning machine gun, a spokesman said there was "no problem" in borrowing supplies from allied units.

Southern Afghanistan has extremely hot and dusty conditions which can sometimes interfere with the moving parts in a weapon
MoD spokesman

The spokesman added: "At present there are no problems with .50 ammunition or any other kind of rounds used in theatre."

In the video posted on YouTube, two soldiers are seen operating a Browning machine gun from a sand-bagged bunker.

The soldier operating the weapon is seen to have to re-cock it several times, sometimes being able to fire only a single round at a time.

But the MoD said it would be "inconclusive" to draw any inferences from the scenes shown in the video.

"Southern Afghanistan has extremely hot and dusty conditions which can sometimes interfere with the moving parts in a weapon. It would be misleading to blame this on defective ammunition", the spokesman said.




SEE ALSO
'Heavy fighting' in Afghan south
15 Jul 06 |  South Asia
UK troops face new Afghan challenge
30 Nov 05 |  South Asia

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific