A suspected car bombing in central Kiev has killed a Ukrainian military intelligence officer in an incident classified as a "terrorist act" by police, according to officials.

Colonel Maksim Shapoval, who was identified by the defence ministry in a statement, was driving a Mercedes Benz car on Tuesday morning when the explosion tore apart the vehicle at an intersection in Ukraine's capital.

Ukrainian media reported that Shapoval was chief of military intelligence's special forces.

At least one passerby was wounded in the incident and he was taken to a hospital, according to police.

Judging by initial indications, it appeared "obvious" that the blast was caused by an explosive device, said Artem Shevchenko, spokesman for the interior ministry.

"At the present time, the picture gathered of the crime suggests it was a planned terrorist act," he said.

There was no claim of responsibility, while investigators did not immediately say who was to blame.

Previous incidents

Tuesday's blast is the latest deadly incident to hit Kiev, as Ukraine battles Russia-backed rebels in its eastern regions.

In early June, a Ukrainian volunteer commander originally from the Russian region of Chechnya, who had once been jailed on suspicion of plotting to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin, was shot and seriously wounded.

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In March, former Russian member of parliament-turned-Kremlin-critic Denis Voronenkov was shot dead in central Kiev.

Last year, high-profile independent journalist Pavel Sheremet was also killed in a car bombing in central Kiev.

There have also been a string of killings of rebel leaders in the war-torn east of the country that the separatists have blamed on Kiev, but Ukraine's government has pinned them on infighting among the rebels.

Ukraine has been racked by conflict since March 2014 following Russia's annexation of Crimea after an internationally contested referendum.

At least 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

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Source: News agencies