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Heavy fighting has broken out in the western Afghan city of Farah after the Taleban launched a major offensive overnight to capture the restive provincial capital, with residents reporting airstrikes, explosions and gunfire.

Government forces including 100 commandoes have arrived and are clashing with the insurgents, a local provincial council member told AFP, as residents said the situation was “very bad”.

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The attack, which comes as the Taleban step up their annual spring offensive, began around midnight, with the insurgents capturing one district and parts of another, local provincial council member Jamila Amini told AFP Tuesday from inside the city.

“Heavy fighting continues inside the city and aircraft have just started bombarding Taleban positions,” she said.

“Government reinforcements have arrived including around 100 commando forces.”

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