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U.S., Afghan troops sweep into Taliban stronghold

By: Alfred de Montesquiou and Christopher Torchia, ASSOCIATED PRESS

MARJAH, Afghanistan (AP) — Thousands of U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers stormed the Taliban stronghold of Marjah by air and ground Saturday, meeting only scattered resistance but facing a daunting thicket of bombs and booby traps that slowed the allied advance through the town.

The massive offensive was aimed at establishing Afghan government authority over the biggest southern town under militant control and breaking the Taliban grip over a wide area of their southern heartland.

Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, NATO commander of forces in southern Afghanistan, said Afghan and coalition troops, aided by 60 helicopters, made a “successful insertion” into Marjah in southern Helmand province. He said the operation was going “without a hitch.”

To continue reading: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/13/us-launches-offensive-afghanistan/

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