DAHANEH, Afghanistan – Helicopter-borne U.S. Marines backed by Harrier jets stormed a Taliban-held town in southern Afghanistan before dawn Wednesday, the launch of a new operation to uproot Taliban fighters from a longtime base and provide security for next week's presidential election.
The troops exchanged heavy fire with insurgents, killing at least seven in an offensive they hoped would also cut Taliban supply lines and isolate their fighters.
Associated Press journalists traveling with the first wave said militants fired small arms, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades after helicopters dropped the troops over Taliban lines. Fighting lasted more than eight hours, as Harrier jets streaked overhead and dropped flares in a show of force.
It sounds like tough going from all the news reports, but Marines are winning. After they expel the