Kabul: A Defense Ministry spokesman said the defense minister is fine as he was not at his residence when the blast occurred.
A car bomb attack occurred near the residence of acting Defense Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi at around 8pm (local time) in downtown Kabul on Tuesday evening, followed by sporadic gunfire and hand grenade blasts.
The attack happened in the Shirpoor area of Kabul’s District 10, an area crowded with houses owned by high-ranking government officials.
Security forces arrived at the scene shortly after the attack. Ambulances were also seen leaving the area within an hour of the start of the incident.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said that the defense minister is fine as he was not at his residence when the blast occurred.
The attack happened at a guesthouse belonging to the defense minister, sources said, adding that no one from his family was hurt in the attack.
Some lawmakers’ houses are also located in the area where the blast happened.
A security source said that two attackers entered a building near to the office of Azim Mohseni, an MP from Baghlan, in the neighborhood of Bismillah Mohammadi's house following the attack.
Mohseni confirmed that he was not in his office.
The attack comes as heavy clashes are underway between government forces and the Taliban in the city of Lashkargah in Helmand and in the city of Herat – in southern and western Afghanistan, respectively..
"This evening's blast was due to a car bomb attack near the residence of acting Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi," the Afghan media said in a tweet.
This came amid heavy clashes between Afghanistan forces and the Taliban in several Afghan cities. Aghan forces battled the Taliban in Lashkargah as the fighting intensified in the city in southern Helmand province and the frontline was in District 1 where the US conducted an airstrike on Monday morning.
Over the last few weeks, the Taliban have captured several districts in Afghanistan including Takhar, the country's northeastern province.
Nationwide, the Taliban controls 223 districts, with 116 contested and the government holding 68, according to the Long War Journal, whose calculations tally with CNN's estimates. It says 17 of 34 provincial capitals are directly threatened by the Taliban.