A powerful explosion has occurred in the centre of the Afghan capital of Kabul, local media reported Wednesday.

The blast took place in the Shahr-e-Naw area of the city, as confirmed to AFP by Ferdaws Framurz, a spokesman for the city's police force.

Meanwhile, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi has said the explosion took place near the offices of CARE International, an NGO with operations in Afghanistan.     

"We don't know the nature of the explosion yet but small arms firing has also been heard in the area", Rahimi added.

The nation's Health Ministry has reported that at least 12 people sustained injuries in the Kabul blast.

"At least 12 wounded have been taken to hospitals following the blast in Kabul", spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health Wahidullah Mayar said.  

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the group's spokesman.   

Afghanistan is suffering from an unstable political, social and security situation due to the activity of the Taliban and Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia). The Afghan National Defence and Security Forces are currently conducting joint offensive operations to combat terrorism across the country with support from an international coalition.