Taliban fighters train with their weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, July 14, 2009. Reuters/Stringer

UPDATE: 6:04 a.m. EST -- Officials from Afghanistan’s defense ministry said that 37 civilians have been killed at the Kandahar Airfield, which was attacked Tuesday night by Taliban militants, who also took hostages, Radio Free Liberty reported.

Three Taliban fighters were also reportedly killed in the gun battle with government forces, while one was still said to be fighting from inside the facility. All flights from the airport have been cancelled, BBC reported.

UPDATE: 1:01 a.m. EST -- The ongoing attack at the Kandahar airport compound in southern Afghanistan has led to the deaths of at least 14 people and nine Taliban fighters, according to a report by Al Jazeera said, citing officials.

The attack, which started late Tuesday, saw Taliban fighters opening fire on buildings that housed government employees and military bases at the airport, and taking several people hostage. Military officials are reportedly trying to retake control of the airport while ensuring there are no more civilian casualties.

While various media reports have differed about the number of dead -- Agence France-Presse reported eight were dead while the BBC reported it was nine -- the Taliban has claimed that about 150 people have been killed in the offensive.

Original story:

Several Taliban fighters entered a compound Tuesday at an airport in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, local police reported, and engaged Afghan security officials in a firefight. At the same time, several other fighters entered a residential area housing government employees, attacked a joint Afghan-NATO military base and torched shops nearby.

Some of the fighters entered a local school were wearing suicide vests, local media reported.

"Several insurgents (have) taken up position inside a school and are firing at the airport," Sameem Khpalwak, a spokesman for the local governor, told Reuters.

Meanwhile in Herat, a district located more than 350 miles northwest from Kandahar, rival Taliban factions engaged in a series of small battles against one another in Shindand district, Reuters reported. More than 50 people were killed and dozens more wounded in the renewed fighting, which began following the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar and the naming of his successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour.