An Afghan police chief says that gunmen have attacked a checkpoint in the western city of Herat, killing two police officers.

The chief of the criminal investigation division of Herat province, Ghul Agha Hashim, says seven civilians, including three women, were also wounded when two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on the checkpoint at around 2 p.m.

The gunmen then took refuge in a nearby house, and were shot dead after a 50-minute firefight with police, Hashim said.

Violence has been intensifying across Afghanistan as the presence of Taliban insurgents spreads and law and order breaks down.