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Six American Soldiers Get Purple Hearts - 2002-03-08


The U-S military has given out the first medals from a major offensive in Afghanistan's eastern mountains -- awarding Purple Hearts to six soldiers wounded when the attack on al-Qaida strongholds was launched last weekend.

A ceremony at Bagram Air Base near Kabul honored five young soldiers from a company pinned down by heavy fire from al-Qaida positions, and an "Apache" helicopter pilot struck by a ricocheting bullet while supporting ground troops.

The five soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division were part of a group that found itself in an 18-hour firefight after landing in the freezing combat zone last weekend.

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