At least 10 people have been killed and 19 wounded in an attack on a security compound in the Afghan capital Kabul, a health ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
Najib Danish, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, told Al Jazeera that the explosion happened close to a compound of British security contractor group G4S, near an industrial park on the main road leading out of Kabul towards eastern Afghanistan.
Officials said a suicide bomber detonated his explosives and then other fighters started a gun battle with the forces in the area.
Police chief spokesman Basir Mujahid said security forces are in control of the area and the shooting has ended.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The explosion came only hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told a United Nations-sponsored conference in Geneva of plans to seek a peace agreement with the Taliban.
Separately, at least 30 civilians were killed, along with 16 Taliban fighters, by government forces battling the fighters in Helmand province overnight.
Security officials have warned that violence is likely to escalate alongside peace moves as the Taliban seeks to strengthen its position before any formal negotiations.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES