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Firefight in Afghanistan's Arghendab valley Camp Nolan Sept 10 2010.

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Uploaded on Sep 13, 2010

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U.S. soldiers cleared a suspected arms cache in Afghanistan's Arghandab valley on Friday (September 10) before coming under fire when they returned to their base.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne patrolled an orchard near their Outpost Nolan base, with the assistance of a trained dog and metal detectors, and destroyed an arms cache at the site.

The Arghandab river valley is an important infiltration route used by the Taliban to attack U.S. forces and smuggle weapons and men a few miles east to Kandahar city.

U.S. troops have launched a series of operations in Arghandab and other districts around Kandahar in a bid to drive the insurgents out of their spiritual heartland.

The militants in Arghandab, however, are tying up a brigade of U.S. troops with mines and hit-and-run attacks launched from thick cover in ripening grape and pomegranate plantations.

The area is the birthplace of the Taliban and insurgents have taken a heavy toll on U.S. soldiers in outlying combat bases, with many maimed by buried mines and bombs, and several armoured vehicles destroyed.

The soldiers later came under fire at their camp and entered a firefight with gunmen positioned in the mountains.

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