Christmas Day battle in Afghanistan

From AP
Details have emerged of a massive operation by British, Afghan and coalition forces in Afghanistan in which troops fought at close quarters, in knee-deep mud and in fierce trench battles reminiscent of the First World War.

The offensive in central Helmand province involved more than 1,500 troops and was one of the largest operations mounted by the Royal Marines since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

It was fought over 18 days around the town of Nad-e-Ali to capture four key Taliban strongholds.

Some of the Royal Marines taking part trudged more than 60km through mud with packs on their backs while also fighting insurgents at close quarters, the MoD revealed.

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