Afghan Embed: Anatomy of an Insurgent Attack

Taliban teams attack Marine patrol as they return to base outside Marjah.

MARJAH, Afghanistan, 25 June, 2010— -- They fired at us at first from one direction, then another and another. Bullets were whizzing from every angle.

The Taliban attack occurred this morning as a squad from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, was returning to their base from a patrol outside the Afghan town of Marjah.

Shot at from all sides, bullets rained overhead as Marines and Taliban tried to out-maneuver one another.

The Taliban formation was in two parts. One small team shot at us while another moved around, assuming the next attack position.

The Marines slowly ratcheted up their response, launching a grenade and silencing the Taliban's gunfire.

In this deadly chess game, both sides, seasoned by war, tried to get the better of each other.

The attack was nothing unusual for Bravo Company. Such skirmishes are part of daily life for the Marines stationed here.

One minute soldiers are engaging the locals, discussing security and reconstruction, the next they are fighting for their lives.

The Marines control Marjah in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province but they cannot control the small teams of Taliban that operate in and around it.

Today's fight ended when the Marines called for heavy support and the Taliban dispersed.

Once again a stalemate for both sides, an all too common occurrence in this part of Afghanistan.