Toby Keith Encounters Mortar Fire on USO Tour

updated 04/28/2008 AT 8:00 AM ET

originally published 04/28/2008 AT 10:50 AM ET

Country star Toby Keith was trying to give 2,500 soldiers at a military base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, a break from the action, but instead he and his band came under fire along with the rest of the troops.

Keith, on an 18-show USO tour through the Persian Gulf, was right in the middle of his song “Weed With Willie” when mortar fire on the base interrupted him Thursday night.

“We all ran about 100 yards to a concrete bunker,” says Keith’s agent, Curt Motley, who is also on the USO tour. Keith, 46, and his band hunkered down with the soldiers in a bunker about an hour, signing autographs and posing for shots to pass the time.

When the all-clear was sounded, Keith (who says he likes all three 2008 Presidential candidates), returned to stage – against the advice of a coalition MP.

“He went right to the verse he was in and finished his show!” said Motley.

Keith’s 14-day USO tour – his sixth in as many years – continues through this week.

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