The U.S.-led push to confront militants and win-over local Afghans in
the Taliban-controlled south continued Friday, with troops moving into
more remote villages.
Some 4,000 U.S. Marines and several
hundred Afghan forces are taking up positions in southern Afghanistan's
Helmand province - a remote militant stronghold that has largely
resisted central government control.
Troops reportedly met
only isolated pockets of resistance as they set up outposts and sought
out local civilian leaders. The operation is aimed at cutting off
Taliban supply lines, winning over locals who are sympathetic to the
militants and maintaining security for the August presidential
The U.S. military says one Marine has been killed and several others wounded in the offensive.
eastern Afghanistan, U.S. officials say the military is using all
available resources to find an American soldier believed to have been
captured by militants in Paktika province on Tuesday.
offensive in the south marks the first major operation under U.S.
President Barack Obama's revamped strategy to defeat an increasingly
violent Taliban insurgency.
Pakistan has re-deployed some of its
troops to the border with Afghanistan to stop insurgents who may be
fleeing the offensive in Helmand province.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.