KABUL, Afghanistan — At least six people have been killed in an early morning suicide attack in the Afghan capital, the Afghan government said.
A series of explosions and gunfire rang out in eastern Kabul around 6 a.m. near a private armed compound that houses hundreds of international workers. Shooting continued for hours later and it was not clear if the attack was finished, as another large explosion sounded around 8 a.m.
One of the first blasts was a suicide car bomb that exploded near Jalalabad road – one of the main thoroughfares out of the city, said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi. A station wagon that was driving past was caught up in the explosion and four people inside were killed, Sediqi said, along with a passerby and a security guard for a nearby building.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.
The explosions happened hours after President Barack Obama left Afghanistan after a quick visit where he marked the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. He spoke to troops and met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The fighting appeared centered around the secure residential compound known as Green Village, but it was unclear if the heavily guarded compound was the target. Smoke rose from the area as flames licked the outside of a burning car.
Near the site of the blasts, men could be seen carrying a wounded man covered with blood, apparently pulled out of the flames engulfing the nearby car.
"These people evacuated a man from the burning car, two bodies are laying there now and three or four other victims were evacuated from the school," said Ahmad Zia, a resident who saw the explosion.
Police take their position alongside a giant picture of Afghan national hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, on the roof of police headquarters in Kabul on May 7, 2012. The United States has freed up to 20 detainees from a military prison in Afghanistan over the past two years in an effort to promote reconciliation with insurgent groups, the US embassy said. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/GettyImages)
An Afghan youth looks out from an intricately carved truck window at a police checkpoint in Kabul on May 7, 2012. Afghan forces are ready to take responsibility for security in 2013, the defence ministry said on May 7, reacting to a pledge to withdraw French troops early by president-elect Francois Hollande. Hollande made a campaign promise to pull French soldiers out of Afghanistan this year, ending his country's combat role two years earlier than NATO's carefully crafted plan to hand security control to Afghans by 2014. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/GettyImages)
|@ ISAFmedia : AP reports: Afghan Govt forces will thwart any attacks mounted by Taliban. http://t.co/qDEtWRsI #ANSFCanDo|
|@ headlinenews : Fox: What French presidential vote means for European debt crisis, Afghan war, global diplomacy: French voters c... http://t.co/E6fcgbiH|
U.S. servicemen inside of a plane before their departure to Afghanistan from the U.S. transit center Manas, 30 km outside the Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek, on March 27, 2012. A planned withdrawal of US and coalition forces by the end of 2014 hinges on building up Afghan army and police, but the surge in 'fratricidal' attacks threatens to undermine that strategy, with strained relations between NATO troops and Afghan forces marked by distrust and cultural clashes. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/GettyImages)
An Afghan boy walks with his cow at sunset in Mazar-i Sharif, capital of the Balkh province on April 9, 2012. Agriculture has traditionally driven the Central Asian nation's economy, with wheat and cereal production being mainstays and quality fruits, especially pomegranates, apricots, grapes, melons, and mullberries being exported to many countries. (QAIS USYAN/AFP/GettyImages)
|@ JoeNBC : Looking Ahead to the Afghan War's Next Decade - Global - The Atlantic Wire: http://t.co/CWSrDjih|
Gazing glumly over millions of dollars worth of machinery which used to churn out thousands of police and army boots each day but now sits wreathed in plastic sheeting, Farhad Saffi fears he is seeing the death of an Afghan dream.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul on May 3, 2012. Karzai hailed a new pact with the United States but warned that tough negotiations on Washington's military presence in his war-torn country after 2014 still lay ahead. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/GettyImages)
U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of the ISAF forces in Afghanistan, explains to Al Jazeera English why the handover in the turbulent country is "like building an airplane in midflight."
|@ cbrangel : As we begin our withdrawal from Afghanistan, we honor the 1,828 heroic Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice.http://1.usa.gov/IywJn3|