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Spc. Bryce Esco, 25, of San Jose, Calif. probes a suspicious-looking area at the base of a mud wall, while Sgt. James Leatherwood, 25, of Dublin, Texas stands by with a mine detector in the village of Deh-e-Chowkay, in the Arghandab valley near Kandahar, Afghanistan. Seconds later, Esco discovered a length of detonation cord linking two jugs of homemade explosives together about 50 yards apart. The bomb-sniffing dog in the distance had passed the spot minutes earlier, but had not picked up scent.  May 26, 2010. DREW BROWN/STARS AND STRIPES