US-led NATO troops have stormed the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
Spearheading a 15,000 strong force of US, British and Afghan combat units, US Marines met with little resistance
The insurgents left behind a labyrinth of booby traps and home-made bombs which slowed the military advance.
The offensive is aimed at reclaiming Taliban strongholds and establishing Afghan government control.
Lt Ryan Engle, of the US Marine Corps said: “There was limited resistance, no real resistance, much less than expected. We did find several IEDs and bombs and things like that.”
The safety of civilians is a top priority. Non-combatant casualties would make it even more difficult for the US-backed government to win support in areas previously held by the Taliban.
After helicopters began ferrying US marines into Marjah, British troops moved into the northern part of Nad Ali district.
One British soldier is reported to have died when his armoured vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.