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The ministry is located in central Kabul

An explosion and gunfire have been heard in the centre of the Afghan capital Kabul near the ministry of information.

The explosion happened at around 11:40 local time (07:10 GMT), ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi said.

Afghan security were engaging the attackers, he said.

No group has yet said it carried out the attack, but it follows the suspension of talks between the government and Taliban insurgents.

The blast happened in a busy downtown area near one of Kabul’s most popular hotels and the presidential palace.

The Serena Hotel, which is heavily fortified, is one of the few still used by foreign tourists.

Although the city still sees heavy fighting, there have been no large scale attacks targeting civilians in recent weeks.