An Afghan official says that hundreds of Taliban insurgents are launching a major assault on a remote district in the country's northeastern Badakhshan province.

Sakhi Dad Haidari, a deputy provincial police chief in Badakhshan, says the attack started early Saturday morning in the Yamgan district, a mountainous district with no road leading to it. Haidari says the police need air support to bring in reinforcements.

Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the provincial police chief in Badakhshan, says the insurgents are near the district's headquarters and an intense battle still rages.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has claimed responsibility for the attack. It comes amid the Taliban's annual warm weather offensive, the first since U.S. and NATO forces ended their combat mission in the country at the end of last year.