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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 December 2007, 14:03 GMT
Gurkhas secure Afghan compound
Ghurkhas build fence around compound
The engineers have been working under threat of attack
Gurkha engineers worked through Christmas Day to build a security fence around a new compound in Musa Qala in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

The town fell to British-led forces earlier this month, after being held by the Taleban since February.

Gurkhas are building a fence and watch towers around the compound, which will house foreign and Afghan troops.

Soldiers from Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) will be based at the compound.

'Hardest task'

The 25-strong platoon from 69 Ghurkha Field Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment, have been working under the threat of mortar and rocket attack.

Captain Dev Gurung, 40, commanding officer of the Gurkha platoon, said: "The combined threat and engineering challenge is unsurpassed - almost definitely the hardest task I've ever had to deliver during my 20 years of service."

Major Mark Bower, of 2nd Battalion, said: "The engineers are allowing the Afghan National Army to operate and remain in Musa Qala, and that is what we need to get across to the civilians in this area - that we are here to stay."

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