A suicide bomber in the Afghan capital Kabul has killed at least three people and wounded 70, including women and children.

Afghan officials say the bomber's car exploded early Saturday morning outside the entrance to NATO headquarters in one of the most heavily fortified sections of Kabul.  

Witness said the blast shook buildings in surrounding neighborhoods.  

Video from the scene shows scores of civilians bloodied and wounded, some crowding into hospitals, while sirens echo through the streets.

The area targeted by the blast is also home to the U.S. Embassy and other diplomatic missions.

Taliban Claims Responsibility

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and a spokesman for the militant group told Reuters news agency the target was the American Embassy.

Taliban militants have vowed to disrupt next Thursday's presidential election, and there has been an increase in attacks in recent weeks.  

The U.S. has sent thousands of new troops to Afghanistan to help secure the country ahead of presidential elections this coming Thursday.

Earlier in the week, former Afghan President Berhanuddin Rabbani survived a Taliban ambush in an area of northern Afghanistan that has seen a recent rise in militant attacks.

On Wednesday, U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers stormed into southern Helmand province's Nawzad district as part of a larger offensive designed to oust Taliban insurgents.

At the time, a U.S. Department of Defense spokesman warned there would be more similar operations in the coming days.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.