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Taliban pushed out, checkpoint established

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Afghan National Army, supported by British, Danish and Canadian troops, has successfully established a new police checkpoint in a former Taliban stronghold.

The Afghan National Army with British, Danish and Canadian units from the International Security Assistance Force conducted an operation north of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province where the Taliban staged attacks, the British Ministry of Defense reported.

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The operation included as many as 700 personnel and targeted the area of Spin Masjid, which has canal routes that the Taliban used to ship supplies and launch ambushes against convoys.

The Taliban operatives were forced out of the region but left several improvised explosive devices to target Afghan and ISAF units. Officials say the successful operation cleared the way for a critical new police checkpoint and shut down vital Taliban supply routes.

"This operation has been hugely significant in the development of the Afghan National Army," British Maj. Ben Tomkins said in a statement.

"It has been the first time that they have commanded a multinational brigade-level operation of this complexity. … With the large Afghan National Army reserve force and their mortars held close by, they are able to dominate what once was an insurgent-controlled area with confidence."

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