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British forces take Taliban base in energy mission

Published 04/02/2007

British forces have taken control of a Taliban base in Afghanistan in a major

step towards improving energy supplies in Helmand province.

Royal Marines cleared out 25 compounds in Kajaki, northern Helmand, after

months of mortar attacks.

Operation Volcano was part of a ongoing drive to secure the area around a

hydro-electric dam so engineers can enter and bring it up to full power.

It will then supply electricity to 1.8 million people in Afghanistan.

Troops from M Company 42 Commando - based at Royal Marines Bickleigh Barracks,

Plymouth - have been clearing compounds for the past six weeks, regularly coming

under fire.

They were supported in the operation by 59 Commando Royal Engineers Arms

Explosives Search Team and Royal Engineer Search Teams, based at Royal Marines

Chivenor, in Barnstaple, Devon.

Commanding officer Captain Anthony Forshaw said: ``The operation went very

well, as planned and with no casualties on our side.

"We have denied the enemy future use of the area and also destroyed a number

of their bunker and trench systems and gathered valuable intelligence for future


Sayed Rasul, manager and senior engineer of the dam, said: "The dam needs a

lot of maintenance and another turbine in order for it to work more


"Once this happens and the local surrounding area is safer the dam will

provide electricity for millions of local Afghans and create jobs for


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