At least two people have lost their lives in a car bomb blast outside a government office in Afghanistan’s troubled eastern province of Logar.
According to Afghan officials, the explosion, blamed on the Taliban militants, took place early on Thursday in front of the provincial governor’s compound in the Charkh district, 60 kilometers (about 40 miles) east of the country’s capital, Kabul.
Reports said the massive blast shook buildings in the area.
Salim Khan Saleh, the provincial spokesman, said several gunmen first detonated explosives on a vehicle close to the building and then started clashing with the Afghan security forces.
He said the assailants entered another building close to the district governor’s compound and took positions, exchanging fire with police deployed to the area.
The Taliban have intensified their attacks across Afghanistan over the past months. In one of the deadliest attacks, at least 80 civilians lost their lives in a blast that targeted a rally in Kabul in late July.
Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the US and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the country still remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.
Taliban have regrouped since the death of former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour earlier in the year and are reported to be currently in control of some areas in Afghanistan.
Fierce fighting is currently ongoing between the Afghan army and the militants across the country, notably in Helmand and around the northern city of Kunduz, which they had briefly seized last year.
Late last month, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said it had recorded 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 injuries in Afghanistan in the first six months of 2016.