A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives in a usually peaceful region of Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least 12 people, provincial officials said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said six policemen and six road construction workers were killed when the bomber struck in fiercely anti-Taliban Panjshir province. Local officials said 30 civilians were wounded.

The mountainous northern province was an important rallying area for the anti-Taliban forces that helped toppled the Islamist group's government in late 2001.

The Taliban vowed to disrupt a presidential election in April but failed to pull off any major attacks and the vote went ahead mostly peacefully.


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