An Afghan policeman keeps watch at the site of a blast near Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan. Omar Sobhani/ Reuters
An explosion on Friday near a gate to the campus of Kabul University in the Afghan capital killed six people and injured at least 27 as students waited to take an examination, officials said.
Afghan security forces are facing almost daily attacks by Taliban militants, despite reported progress in efforts by the United States to broker an end to Afghanistan's nearly 18-year war.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's blast just hours after Taliban militants set off two car bombs outside police headquarters in the southern city of Kandahar, killing at least 12 and wounding more than 80.
Health ministry spokesman Wahid Mayar said there were students among the 27 injured taken to hospital after the blast, which a student at the university campus said took place while a number of students waited to appear for an exam.
An eyewitness and an interior ministry official said a vehicle caught fire after the explosion caused by a sticky bomb, a common threat in Kabul, where insurgents often stick explosives under vehicles.
A police team defused a second bomb placed near the explosion site, Kabul police spokesman Faramarz Firdaws said.
The rush-hour explosion sent a plume of smoke into the air above the Puli Mahmood Khan neighbourhood of the Afghan capital and shook buildings up to two kilometres (1.2 miles) away, with the media reporter saying he could hear gunshots after the blast.
A plume of smoke rose over central Kabul shortly after midnight and sirens could be heard. Inside the embassy, employees heard this message over the loudspeaker: "An explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound."
Green Village is separate from the nearby Green Zone, a walled-off and heavily fortified part of Kabul that is home to several embassies including the US and British facilities.
The decision was made in order to facilitate intensified sterilization procedures in the area, due to the high density of its population.
Worldwide, more than 788,000 people have been infected and 166,000 have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy's death toll rose to nearly 11,600 — the highest in the world by far — but its rates of new infections were slowing.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 3,111 new infections have been confirmed over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 44,606. He said 3,703 of those hospitalised are in a critical condition and 14,656 have recovered.
The announcement brings the country's tally of confirmed virus cases up to 289, according to ministry's spokesman Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad. In addition, 216 virus patients are still receiving necessary treatment, while 13 others are in intensive care units.