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Pictures | Sat Feb 13, 2010 | 1:13pm EST

Marines spearhead major Afghanistan offensive

<p>A U.S. Marine from Bravo Company of 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, gestures during a gun battle in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district of Helmand province, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic</p>

A U.S. Marine from Bravo Company of 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, gestures during a gun battle in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district of Helmand province, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A U.S. Marine from Bravo Company of 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, gestures during a gun battle in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district of Helmand province, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

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<p>U.S. Marines from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, protect an Afghan man and his child after Taliban fighters opened fire in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district, Helmand province, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic</p>

U.S. Marines from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, protect an Afghan man and his child after Taliban fighters opened fire in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district, Helmand province, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

U.S. Marines from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, protect an Afghan man and his child after Taliban fighters opened fire in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district, Helmand province, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

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<p>A U.S. Marine from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, gestures as he tries to protect an Afghan man and his child after Taliban fighters opened fire in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district, Helmand province, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic</p>

A U.S. Marine from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, gestures as he tries to protect an Afghan man and his child after Taliban fighters opened fire in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district, Helmand province, February 13, 2010....more

A U.S. Marine from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, gestures as he tries to protect an Afghan man and his child after Taliban fighters opened fire in the town of Marjah, in Nad Ali district, Helmand province, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

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<p>British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh mobilise for Operation Moshtarak, a combined force of 15,000 troops launching major assaults on Taliban strongholds in Helmand Province, at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan February 13, 2010. A U.S.-led NATO force began a long-planned assault on the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Saturday. REUTERS/SSgt Will Craig/The British Army/Handout</p>

British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh mobilise for Operation Moshtarak, a combined force of 15,000 troops launching major assaults on Taliban strongholds in Helmand Province, at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan February 13, 2010. A...more

British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh mobilise for Operation Moshtarak, a combined force of 15,000 troops launching major assaults on Taliban strongholds in Helmand Province, at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan February 13, 2010. A U.S.-led NATO force began a long-planned assault on the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Saturday. REUTERS/SSgt Will Craig/The British Army/Handout

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<p>British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh mobilize for Operation Moshtarak at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/SSgt Will Craig/The British Army/Handout</p>

British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh mobilize for Operation Moshtarak at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/SSgt Will Craig/The British Army/Handout

British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh mobilize for Operation Moshtarak at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, February 13, 2010. REUTERS/SSgt Will Craig/The British Army/Handout

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<p>British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh shelter from the down force of a helicopter as they mobilise for Operation Moshtarak, a combined force of 15,000 troops launching major assaults on Taliban strongholds in Helmand Province, at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan February 13, 2010. A U.S.-led NATO force began a long-planned assault on the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Saturday. REUTERS/SSgt Will Craig/The British Army/Ministry of Defence/Crown Copyright/Handout</p>

British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh shelter from the down force of a helicopter as they mobilise for Operation Moshtarak, a combined force of 15,000 troops launching major assaults on Taliban strongholds in Helmand Province, at...more

British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh shelter from the down force of a helicopter as they mobilise for Operation Moshtarak, a combined force of 15,000 troops launching major assaults on Taliban strongholds in Helmand Province, at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan February 13, 2010. A U.S.-led NATO force began a long-planned assault on the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Saturday. REUTERS/SSgt Will Craig/The British Army/Ministry of Defence/Crown Copyright/Handout

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<p>British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh mobilise for Operation Moshtarak, a combined force of 15,000 troops launching major assaults on Taliban strongholds in Helmand Province, at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan February 13, 2010. A U.S.-led NATO force began a long-planned assault on the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Saturday. REUTERS/SSgt Will Craig/The British Army/Handout</p>

British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh mobilise for Operation Moshtarak, a combined force of 15,000 troops launching major assaults on Taliban strongholds in Helmand Province, at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan February 13, 2010. A...more

British soldiers from the First Battalion The Royal Welsh mobilise for Operation Moshtarak, a combined force of 15,000 troops launching major assaults on Taliban strongholds in Helmand Province, at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan February 13, 2010. A U.S.-led NATO force began a long-planned assault on the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Saturday. REUTERS/SSgt Will Craig/The British Army/Handout

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