Middle East

September 15, 2010

U.S. begins long-awaited assault on Taliban stronghold

Three battalions of the 101st Airborne, bolstered by Army rangers and special forces, stormed into the Zhari district west of Kandahar city before dawn on Wednesday in an area U.S. troops call "the heart of darkness." Zhari has been at the forefront of Afghanistan's wars for the last 30 years, an area that Soviet invaders never pacified in the 1980s and that gave rise to Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader who controlled Afghanistan when al Qaida launched the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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