KABUL - Dozens of people have been injured in a Taliban car bomb attack in Afghanistan.

The blast outside a military compound in Kabul sent smoke billowing into the air and shook buildings more than a mile away, before gunmen apparently special forces nearby.

The heavily-secure neighbourhood is home to military and government buildings, including Afghanistan's intelligence agency and defence ministry.

As many as 65 people have been taken to hospital, including nine children, with no word yet on fatalities.

'At first, a car bomb took place and then several attackers took over a building. The area is cordoned off by the police special forces and (they) are bringing down the attackers,' interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

The area was quickly blocked off by Afghan forces and ambulances, with helicopter gunships seen overhead as firing continued.

Hours later, the Taliban claimed responsibility and said they were targeting a 'technical installation' at the defence ministry.

'We were sitting inside the office when the world turned upside down on us,' Zaher Usman, an employee at a branch of the culture ministry, which he said stands just 150 yards from the blast.

He said the blast appeared to have occurred near Gulbahar Tower, which contains a shopping mall and residential units and is next to a government building.

'When I opened my eyes, the office was filled with smoke and dust and everything was broken, my colleagues were screaming,' Usman said.

At least 65 wounded people, including nine children, have been taken to hospital after the rush-hour blast, amid warnings that casualties could rise.

Shams Amini, a football federation spokesman, told AFP that the blast occurred near their HQ gates.

"Some of our colleagues are trapped inside, we have reports of some injuries. We don't know if the attackers have entered the building," he said.

Nearby Shamshad TV station, which was attacked in 2017, aired images of broken glass and damage to its offices but said it was not the target.(FA)