The U.S. military has begun pulling forces back in a rugged mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan, an effort to focus on more populous areas. The move marks a change in the strategy in Afghanistan: The area of Kunar province, known as the Pech Valley, once was considered vital to winning the war and provides the Taliban with an opportunity to claim a victory. But the area has become known as almost hallowed ground among the soldiers in Afghanistan, with at least 103 soldiers having died in or around the Pech Valley’s treacherous peaks and many more wounded. The Pech Valley and Helmand province have been the two deadliest regions for U.S. troops.
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