The story

A Marine was killed in action and several others wounded Thursday in a major U.S.-led offensive in southern Afghanistan, the Marines said.

The push, called Operation Khanjar, is targeting militants in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold and poppy-growing region. The forces are attempting to gain and hold ground in the perilous region ahead of national elections in August.

Almost 4,000 Marines and sailors, along with several hundred Afghan security forces and British troops, worked to clear Taliban militants from population centers in the Helmand River valley. Read full article »

CNN's Atia Abawi in Afghanistan, Nic Robertson in Pakistan and Chris Lawrence and Barbara Starr at the Pentagon contributed to this report.

All About AfghanistanU.S. Armed Forces ActivitiesHelmand Province

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