An Afghan official says the Taliban stormed two checkpoints in northern Sari Pul province, killing at least five members of the security forces and setting of an hours-long gunbattle.

Zabihullah Amani, spokesman for the provincial governor, say the attack in the province's Sozma Qala district started late on Sunday night. The fighting lasted until Monday morning and also left two troops wounded.

Amani says the insurgents captured six soldiers before fleeing the scene. Their fate remains unknown. The checkpoints were retaken and the area was brought under control once reinforcements arrived.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Amani blamed the Taliban who are active in the province and have stepped up their attacks against Afghan security forces.