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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:15 AM
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Britain leads major Afghan operation
By Peter Graff

ARGHINDAB RIVER VALLEY, Afghanistan (Reuters) - British-led armoured columns of NATO troops swept into southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province on Friday, launching one of the biggest operations in months.

Hundreds of British, Estonian and Danish troops, backed by scores of armoured vehicles, crossed through the night from their base in neighbouring Helmand province and set up a desert camp north of the Arghindab River valley, which commanders say is a haven for Taliban guerrillas.

"We're here on an intelligence-led mission against the Taliban," said operation commander Lieutenant-Colonel Matt Holmes. "You can tell by the size of our presence that we mean business."

The offensive is one of the largest by NATO forces since the Canadian-led Operation Medusa in another part of Kandahar province in September, and the largest by British troops since heavy fighting in northern Helmand in the summer.

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