Afghan security forces carry a wounded British man at the site of a suicide attack outside the British Council in Kabul Dar Yasin/AP/Press Association Images

Watch: Suicide bombings target British Council compound in Kabul

The blasts occurred in the early hours of Afghan Independence Day, marking Afghanistan’s full independence from Britain in 1919.

AT LEAST EIGHT people are thought to have died with fears the death toll may rise after suicide bombers attacked a British compound in the Afghan capital of Kabul earlier today.

BBC News reports that at least three explosions were heard in the compound and that gunfire can still be heard in the area as a number of heavily armed men forced their way into the compound.

An official from the British Embassy confirmed that there had been an attack against the British Council building on the west side of Kabul. He said the British Embassy was in contact with Afghan authorities at the scene.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The blasts occurred in the early hours of Afghan Independence Day, marking Afghanistan’s full independence from Britain in 1919. It was unclear whether the attack was related to the anniversary.

Kabul police official Farooq Asas said a suicide bomber detonated a car laden with explosives outside the compound. At least one insurgent attacked the compound on foot, Asas said.

Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry who was at the scene, told The Times (subscription): “Eight people, mostly police, are killed and 10 others injured. There’s one person, one of the attackers who is still alive and resisting. The area has not yet been cleared.”

The explosions shattered glass in buildings a third of a mile from the site. A reporter for The Associated Press reported gunfire at the scene and smoke rising from the area.

Here is a video of the aftermath of the attacks via TOLO TV:

Afghan and British troops were dispatched to the scene early Friday morning and made preparations to assault the compound.

The British Council focuses on education and building civil society internationally.

While violence continues to rage in many parts of Afghanistan, attacks in the capital are relatively uncommon. In June, 21 people were killed at a Kabul hotel, including nine insurgents, with militants fighting NATO and Afghan troops for five hours with rocket-propelled grenades and suicide bombs.

In western Afghanistan on Thursday, a roadside bomb killed at least 21 passengers traveling on a minibus.

Meanwhile, in the country’s east, a suicide car bomber attacked a coalition base Thursday, killing two Afghan security guards, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The minibus ran over a roadside bomb in Obe district in Herat province, setting off a blast that killed 21 passengers, said General Zaiuddin Mamoodi, an Afghan National Police commander for four provinces of western Afghanistan.

Twelve of the victims were children under the age of 5, three were women and six were men, he said. Eleven others were wounded, he said.

- additional reporting from AP

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