A suicide car bomber has attacked NATO headquarters in the heart of Kabul, killing seven people and wounding nearly 100 just days before national elections.

The Afghan Ministry of Defence said that four Afghan soldiers and member of parliament Awa Alam Nuristani, President Hamid Karzai’s campaign manager for women, were among the injured.

It was the biggest attack in Kabul for six months and is likely to shake public confidence in the extensive network of checkpoints and armed guards that maintain security in the city.

The bomber managed to evade several rings of Afghan police before detonating his vehicle about 30 metres from the main entrance to the NATO base.

President Hamid Karzai insisted that Afghans ‘will not be scared of such threats and will go to the voting booths’ on Thursday.

But Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid insisted that the militants ‘have people’s support with us, the people are helping us to carry out our attacks.

‘The people should not participate in the election, this American process – we are going to attack those polling centres where we see Americans and other foreigners,’ Mr Mujahid warned.