Kabul (Agencies): At least 48 people were killed and about 67 were wounded as a suicide bomber targeted students preparing for university exams in a Shia neighbourhood of Kabul on Wednesday, officials said.

The bombing was the latest large-scale assault on Afghanistan's Shia community. It comes amid a particularly bloody week in Afghanistan that has seen Taliban attacks kill scores of Afghan troops and civilians.

The bomber detonated his explosives inside a private building in the Dasht-i Barcha area of Kabul where a group of young Shia men and women, all high school graduates, were studying for university entrance exams.

The spokesman for the public health ministry, Wahid Majroh, said the casualty figures were not final and that the death toll which steadily rose in the immediate aftermath of the bombing could rise further.

Majroh did not say if all the victims were students and whether any of their teachers were also among the casualties.

The explosion initially set off gunfire from Afghan guards in the area, leading to assumptions that there were more attackers involved. Officials later said all indications were that there was only one bomber .

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Jawad Ghawari, a member of the city's Shia clerical council, blamed IS.