KABUL - A suicide car-bomber killed five people including a district governor and wounded 10 others near Kandahar city in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, officials said.

The bomber rammed his explosive-packed car into a vehicle carrying Panjwayi district governor Fazludin Agha, provincial spokesman Zalmay Ayobi told AFP. “Five people including the chief of Panjwayi district, his two sons and two bodyguards were killed in a suicide attack in Kandahar city today,” Ayobi said.

Nine of the 10 injured were policemen, he said. Taliban insurgents fighting the western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai claimed responsibility for the attack.

The governor worked as a Taliban official during the rule of the hardline Islamists from 1996 to 2001, but joined Karzai’s government soon after a US-led invasion toppled the regime in late 2001.He was credited with having managed to convince dozens of Taliban fighters in the volatile province to lay down their arms, Ayobi said.

But there are regular insurgent attacks in the area, known as the heartland of the Taliban, with the provincial police chief surviving a suicide bombing outside his fortified office on Wednesday.

The Taliban, toppled in late 2001 in a US-led invasion, is waging an insurgency against the government and US-led forces who have some 130,000 troops in the country.