The "CBS Evening News" Monday featured exclusive video of a U.S. operation to re-capture a small town of 2,500 people in the eastern part of the country.
The battle for Barge Matal started at dusk yesterday, reports CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark. Hundreds of Taliban overran the town – the largest in the eastern province of Nuristan – a week ago. A hundred U.S. troops from the 10th Mountain Division backed by the Afghanistan Army are now fighting to win it back.
This battle lasted an hour. One U.S. soldier was killed along with 10 insurgents.
Watch the exclusive video shot by CBS News cameras in Afghanistan:
U.S. medics treated an insurgent who said he worked for a notorious Taliban leader who is accused of a series of attacks on coalition forces. A small arsenal of Taliban weapons was found at the local hotel – 1,700 AK47 rounds, more than 30 rocket propelled grenades and explosives.
The Taliban takeover of Barge Matal was a message not only for the villagers but also the people of Nuristan that the Taliban will not tolerate voting in next month' elections. Eighty-eight voting registration cards were found on one dead insurgent. They were taken from villagers by force.
"The Taliban has made a concerted effort in the last month, specifically targeting the voting, the voting sites," said Capt. Michael Harrison of the 10th Mountain Division. "They are trying to marginalize the government, trying to ensure that they can't participate in the election."