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Updated: February 13, 2010 18:14 IST

Taliban claim they retain control of Marjah

AP
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A U.S. soldier mans a weapon atop an armoured vehicle at the site of a suicide attack in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, on Saturday. Photo: AP.
A U.S. soldier mans a weapon atop an armoured vehicle at the site of a suicide attack in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, on Saturday. Photo: AP.

A Taliban spokesman says the Afghan insurgents are still in control of the southern town of Marjah amid ongoing fighting with NATO and Afghan forces.

Spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi, told The Associated Press by phone on Saturday that Taliban fighters are holding their ground in the town, a longtime Taliban stronghold and drug-processing area.

Mr. Ahmadi said the Afghan government claims of 20 dead Taliban fighters were exaggerated. He said two Taliban fighters have been killed and two wounded. He declined to say how many fighters the Taliban have in the area.

NATO has claimed early success in the new offensive on Marjah, described as the biggest joint military operation since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban’s hard-line government.

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