A SUICIDE blast rocked the Afghan capital Kabul during a gun battle with security forces.

Police chief Sayed Mohammad Roshandil said the bomber blew himself up outside the telecommunications ministry, clearing the way for four gunmen to enter the building and the heavily guarded government compound.

Nasart Rahimi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said four civilians and three soldiers were killed during the attack. Eight civilians were also injured.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Both Taliban insurgents and the Islamic State group are active in eastern Afghanistan and have previously claimed attacks in Kabul.

Rahimi said the security operation ended "after all attackers were shot and killed by Afghan security forces". The attack came a day after peace talks in Qatar were cancelled. It would have marked the first time that Taliban and Kabul government officials sat together to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan.