The Taliban launched a volley of rockets near Kabul's international airport on Wednesday shortly after USinfo-icon Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in the Afghan capital for talks, an official said.

The volley of missiles struck near the military section of the airport, wounding at least five civilians, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP.

Police have cordoned off the area to find the exact location from which the rockets were fired, he said, adding that no flights were cancelled. A stand-off between security forces and the attackers is under way.

According to TOLONews, between 20 to 30 rockets landed around Hamid Karzai International Airport in the centre of Kabul; the attack started at about 11:15am (local time).

Earlier, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Afghanistaninfo-icon, the first member of Donald Trump's cabinet to visit the warinfo-icon-torn country since he pledged to stay the course in America's longest war.

In a sign of the country's continuing insecurity, six rockets landed near Kabul international airport hours after Mattis flew in, the interior ministry said.

The rockets struck near the airport's military section. There were no reports of casualties.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack on his official Twitterinfo-icon account.

The unannounced high-level visit comes as Afghanistan's beleaguered security forces struggle to beat back the Taliban, which has been on the offensive since the withdrawal of US-led Nato combat troops at the end of 2014.

Mattis, along with Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg, will meet President Ashraf Ghani and other top officials to discuss the US-led Nato "train and assist" mission designed to strengthen Afghanistan's military so it can defend the country on its own.