Sunday, August 14, 2005

Push Comes To Shove

U.S., Afghan Forces Launch Major Offensive

POSTED: 1:14 pm CDT August 13, 2005

KANDAGAL, Afghanistan -- U.S. Marines and Afghan troops have opened an offensive near the Pakistani border to retake an Afghan valley where they suffered heavy losses in June.

The operation is the biggest aimed at rebels believed to be responsible for the twin attacks that killed 19 American troops.

U.S. and Afghan commanders said the valley has hundreds of Afghan rebels, as well as extremists from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Chechnya.

The offensive caps a deadly week in Afghanistan. Seven Americans died along with dozens of militants and civilians.

The casualties reinforce concerns that legislative elections next month could be threatened by a surge in violence.