Marines Squeeze Taliban Holdouts in Marjah

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 21, 2010 11:08 AM CST
Marines Squeeze Taliban Holdouts in Marjah
U.S. Marines carry an Afghan civilian boy with a gun shot wound to a U.S. Army Task Force Pegasus helicopter during a medevac mission, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Sunday Feb. 21, 2010. Pegasus crews have come under fire daily while on missions evacuating those wounded as U.S. and Afghan...   (Brennan Linsley)

Marines and Afghan units converged today on a dangerous western quarter of the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, with NATO forces facing "determined resistance" as their assault on the southern town entered its second week. Fighter jets, drones, and attack helicopters flew over Marjah, as Marine and Afghan companies moved on a 2-square-mile area of the town where more than 40 insurgents have apparently holed up. "They are squeezed," said a Marine commander. "It looks like they want to stay and fight but they can always drop their weapons and slip away. That's the nature of this war."

Insurgents are putting up a "determined resistance" in various parts of Marjah, though the overall offensive is "on track," NATO said today. One servicemember involved in the Marjah offensive was killed today in southern Afghanistan, bringing the number of allied soldiers killed in the operation to 13. One Afghan soldier also has been killed. Senior Marine officers say intelligence reports suggest more than 120 insurgents have died.

(More Marjah stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.