British soldiers who flew into a Taliban stronghold hailed a "very successful operation" after insurgents fled with little resistance.
The soldiers, from from D Company of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, were joined by Afghan National Police officers as they launched operation Zamary Kargha, or Lion Falcon, to re-establish government control in the area of Hoorzai in Helmand province.
After arriving in two Chinook Helicopters just north of the Kosh Kawa River the patrol approached the nearby village of Koshk Abeh where they held a shura, or meeting, with locals.
As the men were heading back to their patrol base they came under long-range attack.
A spokesman for Task Force Helmand said: "Not only did the insurgent fire prove ineffective, but it served to demonstrate to the locals that the insurgents were scared of the ANP and their ability to provide security."
Major Nick Wight-Boycott, Officer Commanding D Company, 5 SCOTS, said: "This was a very successful operation.
"We used minimal force but achieved maximum effect, and the local population were impressed with the professionalism of the Afghan National Police.
"The ANP were vital for this mission as they are the face of the government and must be seen by the people as a force to protect them.
"It was quite clear, not only to us but also to the local people, that the insurgents considered the Afghan National Police as a force to be reckoned with and would rather flee than try to fight them."