A man stands near the debris at one of the explosion sites in Kabul. Picture: Parwiz/Reuters

Kabul - Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for three explosions in Afghanistan's capital Kabul that left six dead on Thursday.

The extremist group said on a canal of the messaging service telegram that "soldiers of the caliphate" detonated three explosive devices amid a Shiite crowd near a shrine. 50 people were killed and wounded in the attack, Islamic State claimed.

Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesman of the Afghan Health Ministry, confirmed six fatalities and that at least 23 people were injured in the explosions.

The explosions occurred near a prominent Shiite shrine, said Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid, who added that three mines had been placed in the area beforehand.

The Ministry of Defence, however, tweeted that three rockets were fired into the area.

Millions of Afghans are currently celebrating the holiday of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

The explosions took place shortly before President Ashraf Ghani gave a speech in the country's north to mark the new year.

Ghani condemned that attack, saying that "we lost peaceful citizens to a coward enemy that knows no bounds."

The Ministry of Interior Affairs said Wednesday that steps were being taken to ensure people's security during Nowruz celebrations.

Last year Islamic State terrorists claimed a suicide attack in the same area during the New Year celebrations. That attack had left 31 people dead.

dpa