Karzai in unannounced visit to Afghan battle zone | world | Hindustan Times
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Karzai in unannounced visit to Afghan battle zone

world Updated: Mar 07, 2010 16:45 IST

Afghan President Hamid Karzai made an unannounced visit on Sunday to Marjah, the former Taliban stronghold in the country's south that has been the target of a massive offensive in recent weeks.

Dawud Ahmadi, spokesman for Helmand Province governor Gulab Mangal, said Karzai had visited Marjah, which thousands of troops led by U.S. Marines have largely captured in Operation Mushtarak, the 8-year-old war's biggest offensive.

A rocket or mortar fell about four km (1.5 miles) from where Karzai was to appear, shortly before he arrived, Ahmadi said. He said the shell did not explode and no one was hurt.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Mohammad Yousuf, said by telephone from an undisclosed location that militants had fired rockets at a delegation that included Karzai.

A NATO official in Kabul said there had been a rocket or mortar strike in the town with no explosion, and no one was hurt.