A suicide bomber hit a bus full of Afghan soldiers on Thursday, the first attack in the capital Kabul for more than a week.

Officials said that casualties were feared after the attack on a busy road in the east of the city during the morning rush hour.

"The suicide bomber was on foot," said Hashmat Stanikzai, spokesman for the Kabul provincial police chief.

An official with the Defense Ministry, who spokes on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the attack, said that five soldiers were killed and eight wounded.

The Taliban claimed responsibility.

The attack marks the resumption of an intensified anti-government campaign by the insurgents after a lull in attacks on targets in the city.

In recent weeks, the insurgents have targeted military, diplomatic and foreign installations in and around Kabul, in what appears to be a change in tactics to gain maximum publicity.