Kabul: Suicide bombers on Wednesday attacked Afghan government’s intelligence centre and the Interior Ministry in the heart of Kabul killing at least 20, reports say.
According to the BBC, the building where the attack took place was that of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) and was in vicinity of many other key government offices.
The area is a high security zone, housing many Western embassies.
Unconfirmed reports said that the French embassy in Afghanistan had also been attacked.
According to officials, a loud explosion was followed by gunfire at noon local time.
The gunfires were reportedly fired by the security officials.
Gunshots continued to ring out throughout the heavily guarded neighborhood as a plume of smoke rose into the sky.
The shooting had died down about 45 minutes later, but it was not clear if there were still attackers at large.
Ambulances and police officials rushed to the site.
The windows of nearby shops were blown out by the explosion.
An eyewitness who was wounded by flying glass, Mohammad Zia, said the bomb was in a car that drove up to the gate of the intelligence agency, called the National Directorate of Security, and then detonated.
The NDS compound is surrounded by tall, thick cement walls designed to protect buildings from bomb blasts.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi confirmed only that the blast happened at an intersection near the intelligence service gate and the Interior Ministry. An NDS agent at the scene who refused to give his name said the bomber had been targeting the agency. NDS agents rarely give their names to protect their identities.