KABUL - Sporadic gunfight and explosions rocked western Afghanistan’s Farah city overnight with unknown casualties, and a military offensive to completely retake the city from Taliban militants entered its third day, reported local media Tolo News TV on Thursday.

“At least three suicide bombings occurred Wednesday night while militants clashed with security forces around the city and near the provincial police station and the prison building,” the report said quoting unnamed sources.

On Tuesday, the Taliban militants launched a multi-pronged attack and tried to take full control of the city, which is the provincial capital of the same name province bordering Iran.

On the same day, the Afghan security forces backed by Afghan air force and U.S. and NATO-led coalition airpower launched a counter-attack, evicting Taliban from most parts of the city.

Sporadic clashes occurred inside and on outskirts of Farah as of early Thursday, according to reports.

The militants were taking position in private houses and buildings and they used civilians as human shields during the clashes, making the situation difficult for security forces to clear the city of the militants.

The report did not detail the possible causalities of the overnight clashes.

Meanwhile, 12 militants loyal to Taliban outfit were killed and seven others wounded in an operation launched by Afghan forces to retake Tala-o-Barfak district from militants, in the country’s northern Baghlan province, an official said Thursday.

“Afghan security forces launched Navid 6 operation, supported by Afghan army air-force, to retake Tala-o-Barfak district from militants, killing 12 militants and injuring seven others,” Hanif Rezai, spokesman of army Corps 209 Shaheen based in the region, told Xinhua.

He said some strategic sites of the district have been recaptured, but the Taliban fighters have blown up the roads extending to the conflict area, making the operation go on slowly.

During the clashes the security forces have not suffered casualties, he said.

On May 8, Taliban militants took full control of Tala-o-Barfak after launching a wide offensive.

The militant group fighting government forces has not commented on the report.

Two militants of the Islamic State (IS) were killed after U.S. and NATO-led coalition forces launched an airstrike in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar overnight, the provincial government said in a statement on Thursday.

“Two Daesh or IS militants were killed following an airstrike in Kakala locality of Haska Mina district last night,” the statement read.

Two heavy machine guns were also destroyed after the airstrike.

The mountainous province, 120 km east of Kabul, has been the scene of clashes between security forces and IS militants from time to time.

US, Uzbekistan discuss Afghanistan

US President Donald Trump met with visiting Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the White House on Wednesday and the two discussed Afghanistan and bilateral trade cooperation.

During their talks, Trump and Mirziyoyev compared notes on regional security issues, including the stability in Afghanistan, said the White House in a statement released after their meeting.

Mirziyoyev, who was on his first trip to Washington since he came to power in 2016, pledged his support for the Afghan government, with which Uzbekistan has signed agreements last year to boost trade and infrastructure development.

Trump recognised the important role that Uzbekistan plays in the region, offered political support and planning consultations regarding Uzbekistan’s railroad and infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, said the White House.

Uzbekistan, sharing border with war-torn Afghanistan, offers a vital supply route for the US troops remaining in the country.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and US forces completed their combat mission in Afghanistan by 2014 after 13 years of military presence in the country. However, around 16,000 foreign troops remain to train and assist Afghan forces.

Trump and Mirziyoyev also vowed to strengthen cooperation against the threats of international terrorism.

During Mirziyoyev’s visit, Uzbekistan signed over 20 major business deals with US companies, which, the White House said, will be worth more than $4.8 billion when fully implemented and could sustain more than 10,000 US jobs.