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Nato allies set to take stronghold in Afghanistan

Published 18/02/2010

Troops raised the Afghan flag in the bullet-ridden main market of the Taliban's southern stronghold of Marjah yesterday as fighting continued elsewhere in town.

About 15,000 Nato and Afghan troops are deployed in the offensive around Marjah, a town of about 80,000 people that was the largest population centre in southern Helmand province under Taliban control. Nato hopes to rush in aid and public services as soon as the town is secured.

Five days into Operation Moshtarak, an Afghan soldier climbed to the roof of an abandoned shop and raised a bamboo pole with Afghanistan's official green-and-red flag.

Belfast Telegraph

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