Marines Seize Marjah Taliban HQ

Elite squads dropped behind Taliban lines as offensive continues
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2010 7:02 PM CST
US Marines from 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment patrol in Marjah yesterday.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
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(Newser) – US Marines seized a compound that appears to have been the Taliban's Marjah headquarters after a fierce gunfight Friday. The compound just south of the town center contained dozens of Taliban-issued ID cards and diplomas from a Taliban training camp in Pakistan, the AP reports. Small groups of fighters abandoned bunkers and fled as the Marines closed in.

The offensive, now entering its second week, has claimed the lives of at least 12 NATO troops, incuding 8 Americans, and one Afghan soldier. Marine officers estimate 120 Taliban fighters have been killed. Helicopters dropped two dozen elite Marine snipers in the area early today to take out the Taliban marksmen who have been working with militants springing ambushes. Commanders believe it could be the operation will take another 25 to 30 days.

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