At least 20 people were killed and many wounded in a suicide attack on a Shiite shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, initial reports have said.

The blast struck at 7.30 GMT at the Abul Fazel shrine in the Murad Khani area of the capital, a BBC report has said.

The Shitte Muslim worshippers had gathered to observe Ashoura, a national holiday in Afghanistan, that marks the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

According to the BBC, a second blast hit a mosque in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif at about the same time, which reportedly killed four people. Reports suggest that the bomb was strapped to a bicycle when it exploded in the mosque.

Meanwhile, the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul said the blast appeared to be a coordinated attack with a sectarian element, with the Shiite community being the target.