KANDAHAR: US and Afghan troops were on patrol and engaged in live combat in Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan on Monday.
Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade of the US 101st Airborne Division operating in the region manned a mortar battery at Forward Operating Base Wilson, on Sunday, firing 120mm shells to support colleagues under attack two kilometers (one mile) away.
It was unknown what the results of the barrages were but they continued sporadically throughout the day.
Meanwhile, soldiers of Alfa Company of the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division started the day in search of a lookout post to keep watch on a mosque which intelligence had suggested was being used by insurgents.
It meant a long slog up a hot, desert hillside in full combat gear before returning to the village.
Their next task was providing security for a civilian USAID official, who arrived to inspect reconstruction work at the Pir Mohammed School, re-opening for 12-hundred pupils after closing under Taliban orders.
In the early hours of Monday morning, US and Afghan forces came under attack at the school in the valley below Sengeray. The firefight lasted over an hour with several rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and mortars being fired.
Unofficial reports speak of an Afghan soldier being wounded by shrapnel, with no reports of Taliban casualties. US and Afghan forces have been protecting the school, which is an important development project in the area.
The rebuilding of the school is a joint project undertaken by the US military and USAID who are seeking to reopen the school after it was closed down and destroyed by the Taliban in 2007.
The rebuilding of the school has been a point of conflict between US forces and the Taliban who have been trying to disrupt US efforts. Its rebuilding has been done amid intense security with both US forces and Afghan police and army providing a continual presence.
NATO and ISAF forces are increasing security in the run up to parliamentary elections later this month.