Gun Gurkha Pun hon­oured for Afghan brav­ery

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot -

A GURKHA sol­dier who sin­gle-hand­edly fought off up to 30 in­sur­gents in Afghanistan, even us­ing his gun tri­pod when he ran out of bul­lets, has been re­warded for brav­ery.

Sergeant Dip­prasad Pun, 31, of the Royal Gurkha Ri­fles, f i red 400 rounds, launched 17 grenades and det­o­nated a mine to thwart the as­sault by Tal­iban fight­ers at a Bri­tish check­point near Babaji in Hel­mand prov­ince last year.

The only weapon he did not us e was the tra­di­tional Kukri knife car­ried by the Nepalese sol­diers, be­cause he did not have it with him.

Pun saved the lives of three col­leagues who were at the check­point and was pres- ented with the Con­spic­u­ous Gal­lantry Cross for his out­stand­ing brav­ery at a cer­e­mony in Lon­don.

The medal is a level be­low t he pres­ti­gious Vic­to­ria Cross, Bri­tain’s top award for gal­lantry.

‘‘ I think I am a very lucky guy, a sur­vivor,’’ he said.

‘‘ Now I am get­ting this award, it is very great and I am very happy.’’

Pun i s orig­i­nally f r om Bima in west­ern Nepal but now lives in Kent, south-east Eng­land, with his wife.

Pun was on sen­try duty on the evening of Septem­ber 17, 2010, when he heard a clink­ing noise out­side the check­point. Go­ing to in­ves­ti­gate, he found two in­sur­gents try­ing to lay a bomb.

Re­al­is­ing he was about to be at­tacked, and his pla­toon were out on pa­trol, he opened fire on the en­emy.

In the fire­fight, he was at­tacked with AK47 ma­chine guns and rocket-pro­pelled grenades for 15 min­utes.

Pun kept mov­ing and fired back with nu­mer­ous weapons and be­lieves he killed at least one en­emy.

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