Troops Prep for Offensive in Taliban Heartland

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U.S. forces in Afghanistan are preparing for a major offensive on Kandahar -- the Taliban's spiritual heartland.

Kandahar is the second-largest city in Afghanistan and has long been a problem for Coalition troops.

The Pentagon has not revealed many details of the upcoming assault, only saying they will remove the Taliban from the city before Ramadan begins in August.

CBN News Military Reporter Chuck Holton is embedded with U.S. forces that landed in Kandahar, Wednesday.  Click play for his comments.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said nearly half of the 30,000 additional troops promised by President Obama are heading to that area.

"They are coming to Kandahar, the cornerstone of our surge effort and the key to shifting the momentum from the enemy to the Afghan people," he said Wednesday.

Mullen added that the operation underway in Marjah is moving forward successfully.

"Kandahar is not Marjah, we understand that," Mullen said. "It is a much bigger challenge and in that regard has much greater potential to achieve this goal of reversing the momentum."

Preparations for the new operation came as a bomb killed 13 in southern Afghanistan Wednesday.

The blast took place near a crowd gathering to receive free vegetable seeds given by the British government.

A total of 45 people, including eight children, were hurt.

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