War in Afghanistan: a tour of hell

War in Afghanistan: a tour of hell
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 09/08/2008

For all the money, technology and military might America can throw at the Taliban, conditions at the US Army's most attacked outpost in Afghanistan are reminiscent of the First World War trenches. Report by Stuart Webb

Just after dawn at Forward Operating Base Salerno, the Chinooks, Apaches and Black Hawks are starting their engines. Amid the building roar of the helicopters, the camp comes alive. In this part of eastern Afghanistan, Salerno provides the gateway to a string of isolated American military outposts along the frontier with Pakistan. No one is in a hurry to board the helicopter destined for Combat Outpost Margha. As the ground slips away, the tail-gunner takes up position on the Chinook's open ramp and the banter between the men evaporates. The soldiers, 18 of them, have a grim resignation about them now.
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