SAS sniper
Failure to stop the targets could have resulted 'hundreds' of civilian deaths, reports claimedJM LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

A British tabloid newspaper has claimed that an SAS sniper stopped two men from carrying out a car bomb attack with only one bullet. According to the Daily Star on Sunday, both Islamic State (Isis) terrorists were killed while driving towards their target in Libya.

The paper reports an SAS marksman hit the driver from 1,000m (0.62 miles) away. And the bullet passed right through the driver, hitting out a back-seat passenger.

One source, who was granted anonymity, reportedly said: "It was an amazing shot. It wasn't so much about distance but the fact that it was a moving target.

"If the sniper had missed a lot of people would have lost their lives. He was with the team advising the Libyans who were meant to be doing the ambush. He had little time to act."

Failure to stop the IS fighters could have resulted in the deaths of "hundreds of civilians", the paper claimed.

The incident reportedly occurred last month, during an operation in which SAS troops helping Libyan militia groups combat the spreading of IS militants. The source claimed the terrorists' aim was to park a car bomb in a busy market and detonate the weapon to murder crowds of innocent shoppers.

According to the Daily Star on Sunday, the SAS unit was made up of a team of four soldiers, including one sniper and his spotter. A Libyan aiding the troops was said to have tipped them off that a white 1990s Mercedes would be heading east, informing them of the specific time. The paper's sources said the SAS was training local fighters at the time of the incident.

However, there is evidence the mission may not have been as clear-cut as intended. The source said: "The car crashed off the road after the driver was killed and the Libyans sprayed it with machine-gun fire. The bomb in the boot then detonated and there was a massive explosion."

The report is the latest in a long line of under-sourced and unattributed reports of dramatic killings of IS militants by coalition forces. On Monday 15 February, the Daily Star on Sunday reported an SAS sniper killed an IS terrorist with a sniper shot from "three-quarters of a mile away" (1,062m).

On 3 January, the Daily Mail, sourcing the Daily Star on Sunday, claimed an SAS sniper took out three IS bombers by shooting through a 10in wall from "a kilometre away with the world's most powerful rifle".

Going further back to 15 December last year, the Daily Express reported that an SAS sniper killed five militants with "just three bullets" from 800m away.

Each of the reports cite unnamed sources and cannot be independently verified by IBTimes UK.