A series of explosions and gunfire rocked the Afghan capital on Sunday as the Taliban launched a coordinated attack on Western embassies, the Afghan parliamentary building and several Nato bases.

Two insurgents were killed during the assault, while five have reportedly been injured.

The presidential compound of Hamid Karzai was also targeted. A suicide attack in the eastern city of Jalalabad was thwarted before it reached the airport.

In Gardez, a police station came under fire. In total, strikes were reported in the provinces of Paktia, Nangarhar and Logar, as well as Kabul.

The Afghan National Army was deployed to combat the assault.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that they were responsible for the attacks, which he said were being launched as part of a “spring offensive”.

According to the news agency, the Taliban’s assault was revenge for recent incidents in war-torn country, including the burning of Korans, the massacre of Afghan civilians by a US soldier and the urination on dead Taliban soldiers by US military personnel.

PICTURES: Scroll down for images of the Kabul attacks

The spectacular attacks in Kabul, which represent the heaviest fighting in the city since the assault last September on the 9/11 anniversary, have served to underscore the limitations of the Afghan National Army in their ability to defend to so-called “ring of steel” around the capital.

The British, German and American embassies were all hit early on Sunday afternoon.

The Foreign Office has since confirmed that all British embassy staff have been accounted for.

"We can confirm that there is an ongoing incident in the diplomatic area of Kabul," a Foreign Office spokesperson told the Associated Press.

The Serena and Kabul Star hotels were also targeted. The insurgents used Rocket-propelled grenades.

According to the Associated Press, more than 10 explosions hit the city during the assault, leaving buildings and districts scarred with smoke.


Members of the Afghan National Army scramble after the explosions

Mujahid confirmed the assault was deliberately targeting Nato buildings, several Western embassies, the parliamentary building and the hotels, along with an area close to the Russian Embassy.

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"In all these attacks, tens of mujahedeen fighters equipped with light and heavy weapons, suicide vests, RPGs, rockets, heavy machine guns and hand grenades are attacking their targets," said Mujahid in an email.

"We are strong and we can attack anywhere we want," he added, while promising more attacks soon.

BLOG: Martin Middlebrook writes from the Afghan capital.

Those working in the parliament attempted to repel the attackers from the roof while waiting for the Afghan National Army to mobilise.

The Afghan government confirmed that attacks also took place in Gardez and in Jalalabad.

Heavy gunfire continued to shake the capital more than 30 minutes after the initial explosions.

By late Sunday afternoon the gunfire and explosions had stopped.

The Pakistani-based Haqqani network, a militant group with close ties to the Taliban, is being blamed for the attacks.


A car reportedly carrying suicide bombers was destroyed before it reached the airport in Jalalabad