A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb near police and Canadian soldiers in southern Afghanistan Saturday, killing three policemen and two civilians, police said.
A further five people were hurt in the blast on a road that links the southern city of Kandahar with Herat in the west, local police commander Mohammad Akbar told AFP.
"Initial assessments show that three policemen and two civilians are killed. Four police and a civilian are wounded," Akbar said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast but it was similar to others by extremist Taliban insurgents, who regularly attack Afghan troops and their international counterparts.
Police had been searching vehicles at a checkpoint on the road when the attacker drove his four-wheel drive up to them and detonated his explosives, the police commander said.
Canadian soldiers serving with a NATO-led military force were metres (yards) away from the blast and helped to evacuate the wounded on stretchers, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
The road links the capital Kabul to Kandahar and then Herat, finally ending at the Iranian border.
Scores of attacks carried out on the road have been blamed on the Taliban, who most often target troops but cause more civilian casualties.