A contingent of several hundred Afghan troops are preparing to join U-S troops in Gardez in eastern Afghanistan to strengthen a ground operation against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters hiding in the Arma mountains, 40 kilometers north of Gardez.
The troops have been training for the past three months just outside the city.
Training exercises continued on Monday and troops were seen moving towards the battlefront, about 5 km east of Gardez.
The ground operation against Al-Qaida and Taliban hideouts in the area was launched by U-S and Afghan troops more than a week ago.
U-S and Afghan officers believe they have dealt a severe blow to al-Qaida and Taliban fighters.
But they estimate that about 200 fighters remain hunkered down in remote caves, and warn that some may still be able to escape.