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Next big combat mission in Afghanistan will target Kandahar

• McClatchy News
The current U.S.-led military operation in Helmand province is a trial run for what could be the decisive clash with the Taliban in Afghanistan this summer in the area that is its spiritual home — Kandahar.

Officials at the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force say that the focus of the coalition will shift from Helmand to Kandahar — the big prize for both the Taliban and the coalition. Kandahar city is home to around 1 million people, while Marjah, the target of the massive ongoing offensive in Helmand, is an obscure dusty town of 85,000 inhabitants that had turned into a Taliban stronghold.

A senior ISAF official, who didn't want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue, said: "This moves to Kandahar. That's the next main objective."


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