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Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Friday, 1 December 2006

3 Commando: Hunting the Taleban

Alastair Leithead

In the remote desert of southern Afghanistan, a struggle is intensifying between British troops and the forces of the Taleban.

Around 5,800 UK troops are stationed in Afghanistan, following the US-led invasion in October 2001, and so far more than 40 have been killed.

The majority of the deployment is in Helmand which is an area of major Taleban activity and opium production.

Amid battle scenes that have been described by one commander as the most intense "since the Korean War", the BBC's Alastair Leithead, award-winning cameraman Fred Scott and field producer Peter Emmerson spent nine days embedded with UK forces in southern Helmand province, facing the risk of ambush and attack.

During the trip, the BBC team gained unique, prolonged access to the soldiers of the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade as they fight a shifting and elusive Taleban threat.

Panorama: 3 Commando: Hunting the Taleban was on BBC One on December 3 2006.



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