US fears being bogged down in Marjah as snipers hit major offensive

US Marines and Afghan troops were making slow progress as they came under attack from snipers on the third day of a major offensive to seize the Taleban’s stronghold in southern Afghanistan.

Multiple firefights broke out in different areas in and around Marjah, the last militant stronghold in the country’s most violent province, Helmand. The US troops leading Operation Moshtarak — “Togetherness” — advanced only 500 yards today. Marine units twice tried to capture the town’s central bazaar, only to be pushed back.

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