Kabul: Four suicide bombers armed with assault rifles and hand grenades today attacked an "office of foreigners" in a southwestern neighborhood of the Afghan capital of Kabul, according to a government official.
Deputy Interior Minister Mohammed Ayub Salangi could not say whether there were any casualties in the afternoon attack.
One foreign national fled the area as gunfire rang out, but he another six foreigners were still trapped inside, he said.
Three of the suicide bombers were believed to have died but a fourth was still resisting, according to the official.
Ongoing gunfire could be heard in the area. Heavily armed members of the Afghan National Police rapid action force, wearing helmets and bulletproof vests, cordoned off the area.
The assault began with a powerful blast caused when one of the suicide bombers detonated his vehicle at the entrance, Salangi said. Mohammed Sadi, a resident in the area, said the force of the blast rattled buildings several blocks away.
"At the beginning a powerful explosion happened, which also broke the windows of our house. Then gunfire started and the police blocked all the roads," said Sadi.
The high-end neighbourhood is home to some of the candidates in next month's elections for president and provincial council. It didn't appear that they were the targets, although the Taliban have stepped up their attacks ahead of the April 5 polling.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said insurgents attacked a "guest house of foreigners and a church of foreigners". His claim could not be immediately confirmed.
"Attacks will continue and we will keep on killing foreigners," he said in a statement to the media.