A British sniper shot dead five Taliban gunmen in just 28 seconds to save the lives of comrades walking into an ambush.
The marksman felled the rebels from more than a mile away as they prepared to attack troops on foot patrol in Afghanistan.
The corporal - whose identity cannot be revealed for security reasons - has killed a record 37 enemy fighters during a four-month tour of duty.
But his most remarkable feat of arms came when he and the spotter who accompanies him saw the group of armed Taliban.
They were taking up positions to fire on a patrol that included the platoon commander in Helmand Province.
Hiding in an old fort, the sniper prepared his British-built L115A3 Long Range Rifle.
The firearm, which fires 8.59mm bullets at three times the speed of sound and uses a state-of-the-art telescopic sight, is so effective that it has been nicknamed The Silent Assassin.
Requesting permission to shoot - needed because the British had not yet been attacked - the corporal made sure the rebel leader was in the crosshairs of his sights.
He would have had to make precise calculations in a split-second on wind speed and other weather conditions to compensate for the drift of the rounds in flight.
Moments later his commander gave him the go-ahead to fire and in less than half a minute the five Taliban gunmen lay dead.
He said: 'They gave me the "weapons free". I engaged with the first insurgent. It took me nine rounds but I took him down with the ninth.
'Then the other four had moved closer, so I took them down as well.
The sharp-shooter, a father of one who has been a sniper for nine years and serves with 4th Battalion The Rifles, added: 'My job is about taking care of the boys. It is not about how many you kill, it's about the team.'
Former SAS commander Andy McNab said: 'To bring down five targets in less than 30 seconds is a real achievement. When shot at, humans react just like animals. There are a couple of seconds where they will freeze, then they hit the ground or run.
'In this case the sniper would have had to hit, and kill, a moving target at a considerable distance.'
The corporal's achievement in June last year in the Nad'e Ali district of Helmand, was revealed after the Mail told of how fellow sniper Craig Harrison broke all military records by killing two Taliban machine gunners from more than a mile and a half away.
The Corporal of Horse - a rank in the Household Cavalry corresponding to Sergeant - felled the gunmen with consecutive bullets even though they were 1,070 yards beyond the official range of his rifle
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