A Canadian sniper has broken a world record after reportedly shooting dead an Islamic State fighter in Iraq from more than two miles away.
The record, previously held by a British shooter, was created when the Canadian special forces sniper fired from the top of a building with a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle — from 2.19 miles away.
Such was the distance, it took the bullet 10 seconds to strike the militant.
The sniper team had spotted Islamic State fighters approaching Iraqi security forces, who were unaware that they were about to be ambushed.
A source told Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper: “The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh (Islamic State) attack on Iraqi security forces.
“Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.”
British Army sniper Craig Harrison, the previous record holder, shot two fighters in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from 2,475 metres (1.53 miles) in November 2009.
While Canadian Special Operations Command confirmed that a member of its Joint Task Force 2 “successfully hit a target”, it refused to say when the shooting occurred.
It said: “For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place.”
Canadian major general Michael Rouleau described the incident as “unprecedented”.
“In this case, there was a digital record from another observation post, actually unknown to the sniper in question,” he said.
“I have reviewed (video) and it has been reviewed by some of our allies as well. This is an irrefutable act.”
He added: “There is an element of art involved where the sniper actually has to estimate where the Daesh fighter is going to be, because when he pulls the trigger, there is just under 10 seconds of time of flight for the round.
“There is a lot of science involved in terms of the ballistic calculations but there is a subjective element of assessing what the winds are doing and whatnot.”