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04/15/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Afghan Surge: Troops 'Face Gunfights And Minefields In Offensive Against Taliban'

U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers encountered pockets of stiff resistance and extensive minefields as they sought to press into this Taliban sanctuary in southern Afghanistan on Saturday.

Numerous gunfights with insurgents and painstaking efforts to clear roads of makeshift bombs slowed the advance of many coalition units and delayed them from reaching some key destinations in this farming area of 80,000 people. The operation was further complicated by the challenge of fording irrigation canals that ring the area and traversing a landscape covered in knee-deep mud.

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