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NATO Says Afghan Assault Disrupts Taliban Leadership

U.S. Marines patrol in Helmand Province

U.S. Marines patrol in Helmand Province

A NATO commander says the alliance's offensive against a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan has "significantly dislocated" the insurgents' local leadership.

Major General Nick Carter said Afghan and international troops have met "some significant resistance from isolated groups of fighters," during the assault on Marjah.

Carter, the British commander of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, said he had been surprised by the quantity of mines that the insurgents had laid.

Carter said he was not aware that the Taliban's top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar -- said by U.S. and Pakistani officials to have been captured in Pakistan -- had been involved specifically in the Marjah area.

Carter also said NATO forces have again resumed using a type of rocket that killed 12 civilians after concluding that the missile hit its intended target and did not veer off course.

compiled from agency reports