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UK troops launch major assault on Taliban

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UK troops launch major assault on Taliban

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Hundreds of British soldiers have headed deep into Taliban territory in southern Afghanistan as one of their biggest assaults this year gets underway.

Advance parties have gone behind enemy lines in Helmand Province as part of Operation Tor Shezada meaning Black Prince.

The aim of the joint offensive with Afghan forces is to take control of a remaining militant stronghold, the town of Saidabad. It has been used as a base by insurgents to launch deadly attacks in
the Nad Ali district and in Marjah.

So far little resistance has been met in efforts to flush out the fighters. But the British are taking no chances, clearing away undergrowth that could be used to hide improvised Taliban bombs.

Since the massive Operation Moshtarak was launched earlier this year, progress has been made. But much still needs to be done, with July the deadliest month for US troops since the war began.

Winning over the local population remains a key challenge.