At least 17 people were killed in a series of attacks in central Kabul earlier today, the latest brazen assault in the Afghan capital despite a renewed military push against Taliban insurgents. The Taliban are claiming responsibility for the deadly suicide attacks that killed ten people and left at least 30 wounded in the heart of Kabul. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that five suicide bombers conducted the attacks on two buildings used by foreigners. "Seventeen people, including Afghans, foreigners and police have been killed," said Sayed Abdul Ghafar Sayedzada, Kabul criminal police chief. A suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance to Kabul's biggest shopping centre. At least two blasts and gunfire were reported in the area, which includes a hotel, guest house and some government buildings. Police said gunmen had entered the shopping centre after the blasts and other attackers took up positions in nearby buildings. It is believed two residential hotels, or guest houses, used by foreign workers in Afghanistan were the targets of the attacks. The assault appeared to be the biggest in the capital since Taleban gunmen launched a brazen attack on several targets in the centre of the city on January 18. US and other NATO-led foreign forces have pushed back against the Taleban after violence across Afghanistan last year hit its worst levels since the Islamist militants were ousted by US-backed Afghan forces in late 2001. Television reports suggested sporadic clashes continued between police and gunmen in some of the buildings. "I heard a big blast," witness Quaree Sameh said. "The glass shattered. The attackers were throwing grenades and shooting". The attack shattered the early morning calm in the capital at the start of the Afghan weekend. Broken glass littered the street on a wet, dreary day as Afghan security forces wearing bullet-proof vests rushed to secure the area, some taking up positions in doorways and others crouching behind concrete barriers. Thick smoke could be seen rising above the neighbourhood. Earlier this month, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force launched a big offensive in southern Helmand to drive the Taleban out of their last major stronghold in Afghanistan's most violent province.