At least 34 people were killed and 68 others injuredafter apowerful blast rocked the Afghan capital of Kabul on Monday, authorities said.
A witness told Xinhua news agency that militants had enteredan under-construction building in the high security Pul-i-Mahmoud Khan area andwere exchanging fire with the security forces who reached the area to controlthe situation.
According to the witness, the militants first detonatedtheir explosives-laden car and then began firing.
The area is close to a branch of the the Defence Ministrybuilding, a sports stadium, a branch of the Information and Culture Ministryand houses.
Following the explosion, which could be heard severalkilometres away, a huge rising column of smoke could be seen, reports Efe news.
No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attackyet.
Monday's attack comes when a Taliban delegation and USrepresentatives are carrying out the seventh round of meetings in Qatar todiscuss peace negotiations in Afghanistan.
Both sides are seeking a way out of nearly two decades ofarmed conflict in the nation, although, so far the Taliban have refused tonegotiate with the Afghan government.