Afghanistan: Up to 30 days needed to ‘secure’ Marjah

Marjah, 19 Feb. (AKI) – British Maj Gen Nick Carter, in command of Nato forces in southern Afghanistan, said it would take 25-30 days to secure the area. More time would be needed after that to determine the success of the operation.

“Looking downstream, in three months’ time or thereabouts we should have a pretty fair idea about whether we’ve been successful,” reports quoted him as saying.

“But I would be very cautious about any triumphalism just yet.”

Nato and Afghan officials have claimed a degree of success in securing the area around the town of Marjah but have run into stiff opposition from Taliban in the town itself.

Six Nato soldiers died Thursday in heavy fighting, the highest day of casualties since the operation began on Saturday.

About 15,000 Afghan and Nato troops, mostly US and British, are battling Taliban in and around Marjah.