KABUL  - A bomb attack killed five people including a district mayor and a local member of the government-run peace council when it tore through their vehicle in northern Afghanistan on Monday, an official said. The authorities blamed the attack in Takhar province's Ishkamish district on Taliban insurgents.

The victims were driving to the provincial capital Taloqan for a local govt meeting, provincial administration spokesman Faiz Mohammad Tawhidi told AFP. The blast killed a Takhar member of the High Peace Council, Haji Hashim, and the district's mayor, Abdul Aziz, along with three other men, he said. The HPC is a government body assigned to make peace with the Taliban, which has been waging an insurgency since being ousted from power in the 2001 US-led invasion. The head of the HPC, former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, was assassinated in Kabul last September in a suicide attack carried out by a militant posing as a Taliban peace envoy.