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Coalition troops retake Afghan towns
Afghan and coalition troops have reclaimed the second of two southern towns in Afghanistan that had been overrun by Taliban insurgents.
Hundreds of ground forces battled Taliban fighters before entering the town of Garmser in the Helmand province on Wednesday, said General Rahmatullah Roufi, the Afghan army commander in the country's south.
"Our troops launched an attack on Garmser and thank God we captured it," Roufi told The Associated Press.
The operation in Garmser, a town of more than 50,000 on the Helmand River, followed a similar offensive the day before to root out Taliban fighters from Naway-i-Barakzayi, about 30km to the north.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fitzpatrick, a US spokesman, said Afghan and coalition forces "skirmished" with Taliban fighters outside Garmser "but met no resistance once inside".
Two Afghan soldiers were wounded in the operation.
Coalition forces met town leaders to try to hunt down the Taliban members who fled, Fitzpatrick said.
"The Taliban appears to be bullying their way around some of the smaller towns in remote areas but they have no capability to lay claim to any piece of ground," Fitzpatrick said.