Three people including a child have been killed and at least 15 others have been injured after a suicide car bombing targeted a Kabul restaurant popular with Afghan officials and foreign diplomats.
Friday's explosion appeared to have hit Le Jardin, one of a small number of restaurants in Afghanistan's capital still frequented by foreigners, according to a police official.
"We can confirm a suicide car bomb attack on Le Jardin," Fraidoon Obaidi, the head of Kabul's Criminal Investigation Department, told AFP news agency. "We are busy extinguishing the fire at the scene."
Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed on Twitter that several foreigners had been killed and wounded in the suicide attack.
Taliban routinely exaggerates the death toll in attacks on government and foreign targets.
Al Jazeera's Abdullah Shahood, reporting from Kabul, quoted a senior interior ministry official as confirming that a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives outside the restaurant.
"The area has a lot of guesthouses with foreigners residing in them while Afghan officials also live in the area," he said.
"The security is very tight in the area and it has been cordoned off by the police. A number of suicide bombers could be around the compond and securituy forces have arrived at the scene and are clearing the area."
The explosion came just days after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide attack near Kabul airport that killed one person and wounded 33 others, the latest in a series of suicide attacks in the city.
The attacks have coincided with efforts to revive the stalled peace process with the Taliban that broke down in July.
President Ashraf Ghani had earlier announced that officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and China are due to meet in Pakistan on January 11 for a meeting aimed at laying the ground for talks with the Taliban.
|Afghan policemen keep watch at the site of an explosion in Kabul [Reuters]
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies