Two Afghan soldiers have been killed after a man wearing an Afghan military uniform and a suicide vest started shooting in the Afghan defence ministry.

The man, who entered the building using a valid ID pass, was killed by security after he reached the second floor of the building, which is where the office of the defence minister is located.

In addition to killing two soldiers the attacker managed to wound seven others including aides to the defence minister and to the chief-of-staff.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, adding that they had hoped to kill not just the Afghan defence minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, but the French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet who is currently visiting the country. Neither Mr Wardak nor Mr Longuet were present when the attack took place.

The French government however has told AFP that they have no evidence that Mr Longuet was the target of the attack.

The Taliban have increasingly resorted to tactics in which suicide bombers dress as army or police officers before detonating themselves. They have also managed to infiltrate people into the security forces who then launch gun attacks on their fellow soldiers and foreign allies.

Only two days ago ten people, five of them NATO soldiers, were killed by a suicide bomber dressed as a soldier, while last Friday a high ranking police officer was assassinated by a suicide bomber entering police headquarters in Kandahar wearing a police uniform.