July 2, 2009 5:12 PM

Marine offensive intended to show that Taliban can be beat

The massive Marine assault launched Thursday in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province is intended to recapture an area that's been under Taliban control for the past five years — a step officials think is critical to showing Afghan civilians that coalition forces can protect them from Islamist militants. Early casualty numbers suggests only modest Taliban resistance, with one Marine killed and several others wounded.

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