A car bomb exploded near to a security contractors' compound in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, sending a thick plume of smoke into the night sky and officials reported gunfire in the wake of the blast.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility and no word on casualties.
A senior security official said the blast happened close to a compound of British security contractor group G4S, near an industrial park on the main road leading out of Kabul towards eastern Afghanistan.
The explosion came only hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told a UN-sponsored conference in Geneva of plans to seek a peace agreement with the Taliban.
As efforts to open peace talks with the Taliban have picked up following the appointment of US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, there has been no slackening in the violence which kills thousands of people in Afghanistan every year.
Three US service members were killed close to the central city of Ghazni on Tuesday and at least 30 Afghan civilians were killed in a U.S. air strike overnight, officials and local residents said.
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