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Canadians begin new push to clear Taliban from towns

Canadian soldiers patrol near the village of Salavat in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, September 28, 2009.

FINBARR O'REILLY

Canadian soldiers have opened a new phase in their operation aimed at chasing insurgents from Panjwaii district, southwest of Kandahar city.

A company has moved into the northern limits of Nakhonay, a town of around 2,000 people thought to be an insurgent stronghold.

Earlier this week Canadian Forces joined an Afghan National Army unit in seizing the village of Haji Baba, which is located a short distance to the northeast of Nakhonay.

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Canadian soldiers entered Nakhonay on Thursday and have met with little resistance as they begin to secure the area.

The military says by taking control of Nakhonay they will be able to limit Taliban access to the roads into Kandahar city.

Known as Operation Hydra, the action involves 1,000 Canadian soldiers working alongside some 200 Afghan National Army fighters.

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