By Nick Hallett
At least five people have been killed and 30 injured in a suspected suicide attack on a British embassy vehicle in Kabul, an embassy spokesman has said.
The explosion hit the east of the Afghan capital at around 10.30am local time this morning, with a giant column of smoke rising into the air around Pul-e-Charkhi Road.
Sky News reports that General Mohammad Ayub Salangi, Afghanistan's deputy interior minister said that it was the work of a "suicide attacker on a motorcycle", who had targeted "foreign vehicles". The Taliban have claimed responsibility.
A spokesman for the interior ministry added that the explosion was so powerful that it destroyed three nearby cars and could be heard throughout the city.
The five dead are believed to be Afghan civilians, while embassy staff are among the injured, although the exact numbers remain unknown.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm that a British Embassy vehicle has been attacked in Kabul.
"We are urgently working with the Afghan authorities to establish details of the incident."
An embassy spokesman told AFP: "A British embassy vehicle was attacked. There are some injuries. We are working with Afghan authorities."
The explosion comes just weeks after the last British troops left Afghanistan. Earlier this week, two American soldiers were killed in Kabul when their vehicle was hit by a bomb.