Taliban Afghanistan Al-Qaeda
An Afghan security official displays the bullets left behind from insurgents after they were killed last night in a luxury hotel in Kabul Reuters

Taliban insurgents have attacked a guesthouse used by foreigners in an upmarket district of the Afghan capital Kabul.

At least 20 foreigners, including children, were evacuated from the besieged guesthouse. The nationalities of the evacuees remains unclear.

Hashmat Stanikzai, spokesman for Kabul's police chief, claimed the attack began with a suicide bomb attack in front of the guesthouse.

"A suicide bomber detonated his car loaded with explosives in front of a guesthouse used by foreign and Afghan citizens and now a number of suicide bombers are apparently inside," he said.

"A gunfight is under way. There are no reports of possible casualties," he added.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility in a statement which said the target was a foreign guesthouse and a church, according to CBC News.

Explosions and gunfire were heard in the upscale residential area of Kabul by witnesses and police.

The Taliban have vowed to disrupt the April election to replace President Hamid Karzai, in what would be the first-ever democratic and peaceful transition of power in Afghanistan's history. The Taliban is fiercely opposed to Karzai.

Violence has marred the build-up to the election. Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attacked an election commission office this week, just days after nine people were killed in an attack on a Kabul hotel.