July 1, 2009 10:07 PM

U.S. Marines launch offensive on Taliban in Afghan province

U.S. Marines early Thursday launched a major operation in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, with the goal of driving the Taliban out of an opium-producing area. Called Operation Khanjar, or "Strike of the Sword," the effort borrows its strategy from the "surge" in Iraq and includes roughly 4,000 Marines and 650 Afghan security forces.

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