US, Afghanistan launch air strikes as Taliban attack western city

US and Afghan aircrafts on Tuesday bombed Taliban positions in the western city of Farah after the insurgents launched a major attempt to capture the provincial capital, with fearful residents seeking shelter from explosions and gunfire.

Special forces from Kandahar and Herat were rushed to the city to take part in the fighting, which residents said began around midnight. Sporadic clashes were still ongoing late Tuesday, provincial council member Dadullah Qani told AFP.

It was the latest in a series of attempts by the Taliban over the past three years to capture urban centres.

Afghan forces have been struggling to hold back the resurgent militant group since the withdrawal of NATO combat forces at the end of 2014.

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