An Afghan official says the Taliban have launched an attack at the airport in the southern city of Kandahar, where clashes are still underway.

Samim Khopalwaq, the spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, says Tuesday's attack started with the Taliban targeting the facility's main gate. The sprawling Kandahar Air Field has both a military and a civilian section.

Khopalwaq says the attackers managed to enter the air base where they encountered heavy resistance. He says he has no information if there are casualties.

The Taliban are strong in southern Afghanistan, where the majority of people are Pashtuns, the ethnic group that dominates the militant movement.

The insurgents have stepped up attacks against Afghan troops since the withdrawal of all foreign combat forces at the end of last year.