NATO forces launched a new military operation Wednesday in Afghanistan's most violent southern province, and investigated a shipment of weapons intercepted near the border with Iran, officials said.
About 2,500 Afghan and NATO troops began the operation in the Gereshk region of Helmand province, the site of the fiercest battles this year and the world's largest opium-producing region.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force said the troops would conduct "security and stabilization" operations in the upper Gereshk Valley, but provided no other details.
Regarding the weapons shipment, NATO spokesman Maj. Charles Anthony said, "Although we know that it came from the geographic area of Iran, there is no definitive indication that it came from the Iranian government. We're still evaluating what is contained in that shipment."