Marines Continue Afghan Battle

By: Lara Logan, CBS News
By: Lara Logan, CBS News

AFGHANISTAN -- Surging violence in the days leading up to Afghanistan's presidential election has not kept Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his main challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, from campaigning cross country.

But one place neither of them will be visiting is the town of Dahaneh in hostile Helmand province,

Some 400 U.S. Marines stormed into this Taliban stronghold three days ago to take control of the town and derail Taliban plans to disrupt the election.

"We will see attempts at spectacular attacks, hopefully we will disrupt them before they become spectacular attacks," says Col.George S. Amland, Deputy Commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

In Dahaneh, the aim was to get the Taliban out in time for people here to vote. But the town is still not secure.

Senior Marine officers told CBS news they believe the Taliban is trying to launch a counter attack.

"They will assess our security measures and they will probe until they have found a weakness," said Amland.

The Marines point out that it's only been six weeks since they launched major operations across this province. But the question is already being asked - do they have enough troops? What the people and the Marines here say they want are more Afghan soldiers.

But there aren't enough Afghan soldiers to fill the growing need here so it will be up to U.S. troops for now.


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