An Afghan army commander said Saturday five Taliban militants were killed in the first hours of a combined assault on a militant stronghold in southern Afghanistan. The offensive began before dawn when helicopters dropped US Marines and Afghan troops inside Marjah town, in the poppy-growing belt of Helmand province. "According to initial reports, five enemy have been killed," said Sher Mohammad Zazai, commander of the Afghan Army's 205 Corps. "Two were killed in one location, three in another. They were killed in face-to-face fighting," he told reporters by video link from Helmand's capital of Lashkar Gah.