Afghan special forces move to clear Kandahar

Afghan special forces begin with a prayer.

Reuters joined them on a late-night combat mission in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar.

They’re heading to a district where earlier Taliban fighters and Afghan security forces backed by local police fought for hours.

Insurgents had attempted to take the area, unleashing RPGs and heavy machine gun fire.

Kandahar is one of many provinces to see a recent surge in offensives by the Taliban.

The group has been emboldened as U.S.-led western forces near a complete withdrawal from the country after nearly 20 years of fighting.

Using night vision, this group swiftly move in to Khan Baba village.

Their Humvees pocked with bullet holes from previous missions, including some alongside American forces.

But the American support has gone, and the special forces are now fending for themselves as they move silently from house to house.

This time the area is abandoned.

Air strikes by the Afghan Air Force pushed back the Taliban fighters.

Here’s major Mohammad Din Tasir.

"What we heard in the report and what we saw on the scene did not match. In this village, they said that two or three hundred enemies are here, but we came and spoke with the people and inspected their houses. In fact, the residents had evacuated their families because of the conflict between the government and the enemy, so their children and families didn't get hurt."

It's believed the Taliban is spreading propaganda about how many areas they’ve captured to spread confusion and fear.

In the distance there is sporadic gunfire.

Security personnel, injured in the earlier fight, are given basic treatment and then evacuated to the nearest base.

Moving from area to area the special forces know it won’t be long before they’re called on again to respond to another Taliban offensive.

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