Dozens of people were wounded with fatalities feared as a powerful car bomb rocked Kabul early on Monday and gunmen battled special forces in an area housing military and government buildings, officials said.
The rush-hour explosion sent a plume of smoke into the air above the Puli Mahmood Khan neighbourhood of the Afghan capital and shook buildings up to 2km away, with an AFP reporter saying he could hear gunshots after the blast.
“At first, a car bomb took place and then several attackers took over a building. The area is cordoned off by the police special forces and (they) are bringing down the attackers,” interior ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi said.
Health ministry spokesperson Wahidullah Mayar tweeted that 53 wounded patients had been taken to hospital, warning that the figures could rise.