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U-S Soldiers In Afghanistan Celebrate Independence Day Under Heightened Security - 2002-07-04


U-S soldiers in Afghanistan have celebrated Independence Day (today) under red, white and blue American flags, with barbecues and basketball games rounding out the holiday festivities.

Despite the traditional July fourth celebrations, military officials say security was stepped-up at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul after the U-S State Department warned that terrorists might stage an attack on the patriotic holiday.

On the base's perimeter, armed soldiers stood guard while the troops inside played basketball on the helicopter pad and barbecued seven-thousand T-bone steaks that were flown in from (the U-S state of) Nebraska for the party.

More than seven thousand U-S soldiers are deployed in Afghanistan to help hunt down al-Qaida terrorists and remnants of the ousted Taleban government.

Today (Thursday), 300 British marines stationed in Afghanistan returned home. They were the first group of 17-hundred troops that will be pulled out of Afghanistan over the next two weeks. British defense officials say the troops would head-back to the war-torn country if needed.

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