US troops 'fighting ghosts' in guerrilla war with Taleban

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Marjah (Afghanistan), Oct. 20 (ANI): American troops leading a NATO military offensive in Afghanistan are simultaneously fighting a classic guerrilla war with a resurgent Taleban that has successfully managed to go underground, blended among civilians and taken advantage of the region's agricultural fields and irrigation trenches to stage daily ambushes.

"I've seen the Taleban a couple of times, but it's only for seconds. It's like fighting ghosts. They're in and out. They're quick. They've been doing this a long time (and] they're good at it," the Scotsman quoted Lance-Corporal Benjamin Long, 21, as saying.

When US forces go out on patrol, children and farmers come out of their homes and watch them closely. Some are merely curious. Others use mobile phones to tell insurgents what the Americans are doing.

When gun battles erupt, Marines must take cover and ascertain where the Taleban are so they can return fire.

Firefights often last around 15 or 20 minutes as the Taleban know how long it takes for troops to call in helicopter gun ships or mortar barrages.

"Usually they take everything after a firefight. They're real good at getting their dead and injured out," said Sergeant Jeremy Benson. (ANI)

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