The U.S. military says more than 1,000 NATO troops, mostly from the United States, have launched a new offensive against a key Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan.Military officials say Afghan forces also are participating in the operation in Helmand province.
The offensive known as "Cobra's Anger" is aimed at clearing insurgents from the valley of Now Zad in Helmand province, and to locate landmines, roadside bombs and other explosives.
It comes three days after President Barack Obama promised to deploy an extra 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Mr. Obama said the additional troops will help accelerate the transfer of security responsibility to Afghan forces and allow U.S. forces to begin leaving the country by July 2011.
Most of the new troops are expected to be sent to the south, where Taliban influence is strong.