Afghanistan's defence ministry says an “enemy" attack in Balkh province district of Dawlatabad left at least seven soldiers dead and six other security force members wounded. A local official gave a higher death toll.

In this October 1, 2015 file photo, Afghanistan's security forces take their position during a clash by Taliban fighters in the highway between Balkh province to Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan.
In this October 1, 2015 file photo, Afghanistan's security forces take their position during a clash by Taliban fighters in the highway between Balkh province to Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP)

An early morning attack on an army checkpoint in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday killed at least seven Afghan soldiers, the defence ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that the “enemy" attack in Balkh province's district of Dawlatabad also wounded six other members of the security forces – three soldiers and three intelligence agents.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the wording of the statement indicated that the authorities blame the Taliban, who are active in the district. An investigation was under way, the statement added.

Mohammad Yousuf, the district governor of Dawlatabad, said dozens of Taliban insurgents targeted a checkpoint manned jointly by Afghan soldiers and intelligence agents, killing 15.

The Taliban now control or hold sway over practically half of Afghanistan but continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and US forces, as well as government officials. 

The attacks come even as the Taliban hold peace talks with a US envoy tasked with negotiating an end to the 18-year conflict, America's longest war. 

Scores of Afghan civilians are also killed in the crossfire or by roadside bombs planted by militants.

On Monday, an American soldier was killed in combat in northern Kunduz province. The Taliban claimed they were behind a fatal roadside bombing that targeted American and Afghan forces.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies