The first police station has been opened in Marjah, seven months after U.S. Marines started operations to take control of that Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, military officials said Wednesday.

"We have all seen the past of Marjah," U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Mills was quoted as saying at a ribbon-cutting for the station on Sunday. "Now we can see the future of Marjah, and I think that future is a happy one."

TALIBAN LEADER SEES VICTORY

Mullah Omar, the Taliban's shadowy leader, said that the insurgents are winning the war in Afghanistan and warned Americans that they are wasting lives and billions in tax dollars by continuing in the conflict.

In an end-of-Ramadan message posted online, Omar said: "The victory of our Islamic nation over the invading infidels is now imminent."

NEWS SERVICES