February 15, 2010
[efoods]NATO rockets killed 12 Afghan civilians on Sunday, the second day of an offensive designed to impose Afghan government authority on one of the last big Taliban strongholds in the country’s most violent province.
The assault, one of NATO’s biggest against the Taliban since the war began in 2001, tests U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to send 30,000 more troops to seize insurgent-held areas before a planned 2011 troop drawdown. NATO apologised for the civilian casualties that also damaged efforts to win local support.
A day after the attack started with waves of helicopters ferrying troops into the town of Marjah and the nearby Nad Ali district, U.S. Marines came under intense fire in the heart of Marjah as they sought to root out pockets of insurgents.