Seven people, among them a 10-year-old girl, died in an attack on a guesthouse in the Afghan capital used by a U.S.-based aid group, Kabul's police chief told Efe.

The attack started when a suicide terrorist detonated the bombs loaded in his vehicle in front of the guesthouse of the Roots of Peace organization, Gul Agha Ashemi.

Another four assailants immediately opened fire and a shootout with security forces began that went on for several hours.

Among those slain besides the young girl were a driver and the five attackers, while four security guards protecting the guesthouse were wounded.

Twenty foreigners including several children were evacuated from the building by security forces.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which came eight days before the general elections.

In recent months the Taliban have stepped up their attacks in Kabul, particularly those targeting foreigners.

At least five assailants and two police died last Tuesday in another Taliban attack, that time against the office of the Independent Electoral Commission in Kabul.

In mid-March, Swedish journalist Nils Horner was gunned down in Kabul.

On March 21, 13 people died in an attack on Kabul's Serena Hotel, one of the best protected in the Afghan capital and a favorite of citizens from other countries. EFE