Reporter: ‘Intense Pockets of Fighting’ in Afghanistan

BY Hari Sreenivasan  February 16, 2010 at 2:18 PM EDT

Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post is on the frontlines of the Marine offensive in Marjah, Afghanistan, where U.S. and Afghan forces are trying to clear the Taliban stronghold of militants.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post“What we’ve been seeing here over the past couple of days is some fairly intense pockets of fighting as the Taliban attempts to hold on to assets and materiel that they need to prosecute their insurgency across this country,” he told us by phone Tuesday.

The arrest of top Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar came as a surprise to U.S. military leaders in Afghanistan, Chandra reported, and the effects have yet to be seen: “Mullah Baradar was believed to be fairly involved in Taliban activities in this part of the country in particular and even some belief that he had given orders about Taliban operations and the defense of Marjah, so with him off the battlefield it may potentially make it easier for the Marines and the Afghan soldiers working with them to proceed in their efforts to clear this area of insurgents.”

Hear more of our interview with Chandrasekaran here: