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Rediff.com  » News » In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

Last updated on: March 19, 2012 08:57 IST

In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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On March 11, a United States soldier walked off his base in Afghanistan and went on a shooting spree killing 16 civilians, nine of them children.

The unprecedented attack on families asleep in their houses by the 'rogue' American comes weeks after the burning of Qurans at a US base, which sparked deadly riots across Afghanistan.

Today, the anti-foreign sentiment is running high in Afghanistan and the two incidents raise questions in Kabul and Washington about the future of an increasingly unpopular war.

Life for the American soldiers serving in Afghanistan is complicated. Six US troops have been killed in Afghanistan since Feb 1 by their supposed Afghan allies. It's not easy to work with their Afghan counterparts, who sometimes turn out to be Taliban sympathisers.

Rediff.com gives you a sneak peak into the life of the American soldiers battling in Afghanistan as efforts are made in Washington to end its longest foreign war.

A soldier from the 10th Mountain Division says goodbye to family members before boarding a flight to Afghanistan at Fort Drum, New York October 26, 2010.

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Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US servicemen sit inside a C-17 Globemaster waiting to take off for Afghanistan at Manas Air Base near Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek.

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Photographs: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Army Specialist Dwayne Campbell from Queens NY, Echo Company, 4th Brigade combat team, 1-508 parachute infantry regiment, shaves his head at FOB Shamulzai in Zabul province, southern Afghanistan.

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Photographs: Baz Ratner/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Marines Staff Sgt. Benito Garcia and Lcpl Chris Vavrecka from Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines train in mix martial arts at their patrol base in the area of Karez-e-Sayyidi, near Marjah district, Helmand province.

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Photographs: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Army soldiers from Alpha Company 2nd battalion 27th infantry (The Wolfhounds), Task Force No Fear climb upon arrival to Observation Post Mace from Forward Operating Base Bostick in eastern Afghanistan Naray district, Kunar province near border of Pakistan.

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Photographs: Nikola Solic/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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A US soldier from Task Force 'No Fear' 3rd Platoon, 2-27 Infantry 'The Wolfhounds', watches from a bunker as a fire rages in the Taliban position after a U.S. military jet fighter dropped a bomb on the Taliban position, during a firefight at Outpost Bari Alai, in Ghaziabad district in Kunar, Afghanistan.


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Photographs: Erik De Castro/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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A US soldier from Alpha Co, 2nd Battalion 35th Infantry, Task Force 'Cacti', throws away the empty shell of a 120mm mortar after firing successive rounds at Taliban positions in Shalay Valley from Combat Outpost Penich, in Kunar province, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

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Photographs: Erik De Castro/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US marines fire during a Taliban ambush as they carry out an operation to clear an area in Helmand province.

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Photographs: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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A machine gunner from the First Battalion, Eighth Marines Bravo Company wears a bandolier of bullets around his neck at his base in Talibjan after a patrol in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province.

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Photographs: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Army Specialist Chris Brann of the 737 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Company operates a robot by remote as he searches for an IED (improvised explosive device) during a road clearance patrol in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan November 23, 2011.

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Photographs: Umit Bektas/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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Soldiers from the US army's Alpha Battery, 425 Field Artillery, 3rd brigade of 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum, New York, fire their 155 mm Howitzer in Cop Cherokee base in Kherwar district in Logar province.

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Photographs: Nikola Solic/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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A US Marine from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, gestures as he tries to protect an Afghan man and his child after Taliban fighters opened fire in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district, Helmand province.

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Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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Sgt. William Olas Bee, a US Marine from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has a close call after Taliban fighters opened fire near Garmsir in Helmand Province of Afghanistan.

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Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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A U.S. soldier of 2-12 Infantry 4BCT-4ID Task Force Mountain Warrior rest during an operation near Michigan camp, at the Pesh valley of Kunar Province.

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Photographs: Carlos Barria/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US soldiers kneel during a memorial ceremony for Captain Daniel Whitten and Private First Class Zachary Lovejoy from Charlie Company, 4th Brigade combat team,1-508, 82nd Parachute Infantry Regiment at the Remote Sweeney FOB in Zabul province, southern Afghanistan. Captain Whitten from Grimes, Iowa, and PFC Lovejoy from Albuquerque, New Mexico, were killed by an IED when on patrol in southern Afghanistan.

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Photographs: Baz Ratner/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US President Barack Obama participates in the dignified transfer of US Army Sgt Dale R. Griffin at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Griffin is one of 18 US personnel who died in Afghanistan and returned to the US on board an Air Force C-17 military transport plane.

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Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Army Specialist Nicole Derk of the C Company 3/82 Dustoff MEDEVAC performs a system check on a helicopter at the beginning of her shift in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan November 21, 2011.

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Photographs: Umit Bektas/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Army SPC Jeremy Stocks from 'Dustoff' team, C Company, 1-214 Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade restores a flagpole back in place after the flagpole fell in a night sandstorm at Camp Dwyer in Helmand province.

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Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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A U.S. Marine, from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, rests after a battle with Taliban fighters near the town of Garmser in Helmand.

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Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Marines from First Battalion, Eighth Marines box in a tent used as a makeshift gym in their base at Musa Qala in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province.

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Photographs: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Staff Sergeant Steven Lester from the 10th Mountain Division Band from New York plays the guitar during Thanksgiving celebrations at the US military base in Bagram, north of Kabul.

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Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US army soldiers dance during their time off at Kandahar Airfield.

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Photographs: Jorge Silva/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Army Major Steven Potter MD and Captain Kimberley Kubricht CRNA. of the 628 Forward Surgical Team do yoga during a break in a intensive care unit in Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan December 1, 2011.

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Photographs: Umit Bektas/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US army soldiers from Charlie company 4th platoon ,1st brigade 3-21 infantry play American football in Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district of Kandahar province southern Afghanistan.

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Photographs: Baz Ratner/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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US Army Specialist Joe Keck, who lost his left arm in a vehicle accident in Afghanistan, talks to his service dog Nolls during a visit to the Hampshire House of Correction in Northampton, Massachusetts. Nolls was trained by an inmate at the prison through the National Education for Assistance Dog Service's Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans Prison Pup programme, in which prison inmates train dogs to be placed with deaf and disabled Americans, including disabled combat veterans.

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Photographs: Brian Snyder/Reuters

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In PHOTOS: Guns and games in BATTLEFIELD Afghanistan

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Monica McNeal cries as she hugs a US marine at the grave of her 19-year-old son Eric Ward, at Arlington National Cemetery. Lance Corporal Eric Ward, a fourth-generation US Marine, was killed in Afghanistan.

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Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters

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