A British soldier who confronted a Taliban insurgent holding a little girl as a human shield felt a gunshot hit his helmet after he refused to fire, for fear of hurting the child.
Lance Corporal Craig Murfitt demonstrated nerves of steel as he watched the sniper take aim and pull the trigger before he was sent flying to the ground.
The 25-year-old father-of-one, from Barnstaple, in
Devon, said: "I knew I could take him down but being a dad myself, I didn't want to run the risk of killing a kid."
He was uninjured and returned to duties immediately.