Outside Garmser, Afghanistan (AP) U.S. marines in helicopters and Humvees have pushed into a Taliban-held town in southern Afghanistan's most violent province.
It's part of an operation to drive out militants, stretching NATO'S presence into an area littered with poppy fields and classified as Taliban territory.
U.S. commanders say Taliban fighters have been expecting an assault and have been setting up improvised explosive devices in response. But one American commander says the fact that the marines were assaulting the town by helicopter and were moving through by foot was likely a surprise.
The province is the world's largest opium poppy growing region and has been a flashpoint of the increasingly violent insurgency the last two years.