KABUL: A dozen people, mostly civilians, were killed and nine others were wounded in a suicide bombing in Kabul on Saturday,

the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

Two of the dead and one of the injured were Afghan National Army (ANA) service-members, a MoD statement said, adding the attacker blew

himself up at the MoD entrance gate.

Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi told reporters at the site that the bomber walked to the entrance gate of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and blew himself at around 3:30pm. Among the dead were mostly civilians, he said.

An eyewitness said it was a suicide explosion that took place in front of the entrance gate to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at around 3:25pm.

"Twelve persons died in addition to the attacker and 13 others wounded following the explosion. Five women and children were among the

victims. Details of the incident will be made public after police end its investigation," Gen. Abdul Rahmand Rahimi said.

It was not immediately known if any civilian was harmed by the blast.

"The bomber approached and detonated his suicide jacket beside the stricken bus after it ran out of the compound. The incident occurred

roughly at 03:20 p.m. local time (1050GMT) in Murad Khani area, where several government office buildings are located," witness Mohammad Jawad said.

The casualties were shifted to nearby hospitals. Several vehicles running along the two-line road were also damaged by the blast.

The Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for the blast, the second suicide attack within the day.

On Saturday morning, 11 people, including a key anti-Taliban local leader, were killed and 40 others wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-packed motorbike near a provincial government office in eastern Kunar province.

The Taliban has intensified attacks across the country since the start of this year, which coincides with the potential resumption of government-Taliban peace talks.

More than 3,540 civilians were killed and over 7,450 injured as the violence spread in different places of the war-hit country last year, according to a report released by the UN mission in the country on Feb. 14.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.