A heavy bomb blast shook a central district in Kabul, near the US embassy and government ministries. Afghanistan's Health Ministry has reported at least 28 deaths and more than 300 people wounded so far in the explosion.
A Taliban suicide bomber carried out an attack on Tuesday in a central district in the Afghan capital, leading to reports of numerous casualties.
The explosion targeted the offices of Afghanistan's intelligence agency. The US embassy and NATO headquarters, as well as several Afghan government buildings, are also located in the area. Black smoke was seen billowing into the sky overhead.
"The first blast was carried out by a suicide bomber in a car, and possibly one or two bombers are still resisting," an Afghan official told the AFP news agency.
At least 28 people were killed in the blast, which was apparently set off by a car bomb and was followed by a gun battle between the militants and Afghan security forces. Reports put the number of wounded as high as 327.
Dozens of buildings - including homes and shops - were damaged in the attack.
"[We] condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Puli Mahmood Khan neighborhood of Kabul, as a result of which many of our countrymen were martyred and wounded," Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement.
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack, according to The Associated Press. The terrorist organizationhad announced the start of its "spring offensive" last week
- its annual period of warm-weather fighting.
blc/jil (AFP, AP, Reuters)