Taliban fighters greet residents in the Surkhroad district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul. Picture: Rahmat Gul/AP

Kabul - At least 15 members of the Afghan security forces were killed after Taliban militants attacked their checkpoints in northern Kunduz and southern Kandahar provinces, officials said on Tuesday.

At least nine members of the Afghan army were killed in the Imam Saheb district of Kunduz, provincial council member Mohmmad Yousif Ayoubi said.

Dozens of others were injured in the attacks on at least two posts in Imam Saheb, according to Ayoubi.

The militants launched the attacks late Monday from at least five directions, and the offensive lasted through the night, according to provincial council member Aminullah Ayeddin.

Taliban militants have controlled large parts of Imam Saheb for years and regularly carry out large-scale attacks on Afghan forces in Kunduz and neighbouring provinces.

Meanwhile, Taliban attacks on a number of checkpoints in southern Kandahar province, left at least six Afghan border police dead, an official said.

The overnight attacks, which took place in the Arghistan district of the province, wounded at least 10 others, a spokesman for the provincial governor, Daud Ahmadi, said.

Ahmadi said, at least 25 Taliban militants were dead and five others injured in the clashes. The Taliban did not immediately comment on the reports.

Separately, Afghan special forces freed 45 civilians and members of the security forces from a Taliban prison in the country's embattled southern Helmand province, an official said on Tuesday.

Fifteen police officers, four members of the Afghan army, two doctors and a group of local residents were freed after the operation in Musa Qala district, elite forces spokesman Jawid Saleem told dpa.

The prisoners were kept in the Taliban prison for reasons that included allegations of cooperating and spying on behalf of the Afghan security forces and not adhering to the Taliban's code of conduct, Saleem said.

Those freed in the operation were brought to a military facility in the province and are set to be reunited with their families later on Tuesday.