KABUL — Gunfire was heard from a compound used by the US's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Kabul, Afghan officials said Sunday, although details of any deaths or injuries were unclear.

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui said police had heard "a couple of minutes" of gunfire from inside the Ariana Hotel compound at around 9.15pm (1645 GMT) Saturday.

"Our police heard there were some shots from inside the Ariana compound," he said. But he added that Afghan forces could not go inside as the site "belongs to coalition forces" and was "not within the reach of police".

An Afghan government source speaking anonymously to AFP said the Ariana compound was used by the CIA.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Kabul, Gavin Sundwall, said he could not comment on the incident.

Major Jason Waggoner, spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, confirmed that "there were shots fired" near the hotel but did not have further details.

In a 19-hour siege targeting the US embassy earlier this month 14 Afghans were killed. The attack came amid fears of escalating violence in the capital, which also recently saw the assassination of peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani.

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