USA and Afghan aircraft 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. One American soldier was also killed and another wounded during a combat operation in eastern Afghanistan, US Forces-Afghanistan said in a statement.
"If the security forces can't take control of the whole city by the end of the day, then it will be very hard to take control of the city anytime soon", he said.
The U.S. -led military coalition in Afghanistan said in a tweet that it was providing air support to Afghan forces around Farah.
The fighting in Farah was part of a recent increase in the tempo of attacks by the insurgents, since their announcement of a spring offensive late in April and their explicit rejection of Afghan government peace initiatives.
Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attacks in Ghazni.
Speaking earlier this month, he said this expansion was why the Taliban had not taken any district centres or provincial centres.
The province, which also borders the opium-rich Taliban heartland of Helmand province, has key smuggling routes into Iran.
Clashes have been ongoing for the past few months in different parts of Farah province.
The battle was underway in several areas of the city, Abdul Shakoor, a resident of the Bagh-e-Pul area, told Stars and Stripes on Tuesday morning.
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Bakhtawer said casualties were high among security forces, but could not provide a precise number.
NATO's Resolute Support mission in Kabul tweeted that the Afghan army, supported by United States airpower including A-10 Thunderbolts, was "on the offensive" and the city "remains under govt. control".
"First 1,000 Taliban insurgents attacked Farah districts on Tuesday and after the first attack over 1,000 other insurgents also joined the attack", he said.
Salangi said more than 300 Taliban fighters were killed in the gunbattle.
"NDS forces in their headquarters are engaged in heavy clashes with the Taliban". "This area is in government control, and the claims in this regard are untrue", he said. Gunfire and explosions could be heard as he spoke to an AFP reporter by telephone.
The Taliban issued a statement warning residents to remain inside their homes and called on people to "stay calm". Despite the pressure of greatly stepped-up US and Afghan airstrikes, the Taliban have shown little interest in the Afghan government's offer of a comprehensive peace agreement.
Farah is a vast and sparsely populated province with tens of thousands of dollars generated under custom duty.
In 2017, insurgents tried to overrun the capital three times, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network.