A multi-pronged Taliban attack on a government building in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday has left at least 11 police officers dead, officials say.

The assault on the Shortepa district headquarters in Balkh province – which sparked a gunfight that lasted several hours -- comes just days after the country held its presidential elections.

"Security situation is under control right now," Munir Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the provincial governor, told the Associated Press, adding that Afghan reinforcements have driven the Taliban from the area.

Men line up outside a polling station in western neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday. Afghans headed to the polls that day to elect a new president amid high security and threats of violence from Taliban militants, who warned citizens to stay away from polling stations or risk being hurt. (AP)


Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said insurgents had overrun the compound, but Farhad denied the claim.

Taliban insurgents are reportedly thought to have suffered an unknown number of casualties during the attack, while officials say 11 police officers were killed.

In a separate Taliban attack in eastern Ghazni province on Tuesday, at least three civilians were gunned down while traveling in a vehicle, according to the Associated Press.


Last week, there were at least 68 attacks by the Taliban across the country during election day, most of them rockets fired from distant outposts. At least five people were killed in those incidents, the AP says, including one policeman, and many more were wounded.

Despite upgraded security, authorities said 431 polling stations stayed closed because it was impossible to guarantee their security since they were either in areas under Taliban control or in places where insurgents could threaten nearby villages. The Taliban still controls or holds sway over roughly half the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.