The road between FOB Breakbone and the derelict airfield led through the area. Major Zaster had no choice but to secure the road. The insurgents were also a threat to the reconstruction of the airstrip. The engineers were all but defenceless.
Major Zaster ordered the two French platoons to seek and destroy the insurgents to the south while his British platoons fought the Hotakistani armour to a halt to the east.
The French vehicles were worn out after hunting insurgents for the previous year. To bring their force to full strength they borrowed a heavy armoured car and a Ratel APC from the newly arrived South Africans.
The French crossed the river and started trying to tempt the insurgents to show themselves. The insurgent's were not playing ball, and for several days the French could not bring the insurgents to the fight. Eventually, just after dawn on the 5th day the French broke leaguer and moved in extended line southward, and then they spotted people. Initially it was difficult to ascertain if they were combatants. The crew of the South African armoured car judged the furtive figures to be armed, and then all hell broke loose.
|The French arrived from the left, with a flanking force arriving from the right.|
Just before dawn they heard the heavy grunt of diesel engines. The Franks were on the move. Soon they had a visual, and shouted down to the sleeping men inside the madrassa. Within seconds a 76mm shell exploded against the northern wall, collapsing the roof and sending the men sprawling in the dust. The foreign fighters scrambled to the windows and loopholes.
The AMX10RC and the Rooikat moved forward, and from cover blasted away at the abandoned madrassa's thick walls. Two VABs then moved forward, one to the left and one to the right. The VAB on the right immediately bogged in a drainage ditch and would remain bogged for the remainder of the fight.
|The firefight starts, both sides taking hits.|
The French commander ordered the Ratel around the northern flank and to attack the madrassa from the front gate. As the Ratel approached the madrassa a group of insurgent ran across the road and an RPG smashed into the front of the Ratel destroying its steering and one front wheel. The men debussed, two of the South African crew were seriously wounded.
|Suicidal insurgents pour out of the madrassa destroying the Ratel with an RPG|
|The Rookat is destroyed - The Insurgents charge in close combat and two teams of insrugents go down under withering fire.|
The special forces squad joined the fight and put and end to an insurgent squad attempting to attack the French in the corn field. The special forces fire was critical in turning the battle. Though, eventually heavy fire was brought to bear on the madrassa, killing or wounding all the occupants.
The South African crew from the Ratel ran from their cover in the ruin when insurgents sought cover in the ruin, and crossed the road to the west, eventually capturing an insurgent.
|The madrassa is reduced by superior fire power.|
French (Shane): 40VP
Insurgents (Kevin): 18VP