Khost/Afghanistan (Agencies): Eight people, including a policeman, were killed and 30 others were wounded on Friday in a Taliban suicide car bomb attack on the police headquarters in a city in eastern Afghanistan, police said.

The incident in Khost is the latest to target Afghan police who, with the country's army, are due to take control of security from international troops by 2014.

"The most recent toll that I have received from the explosion site and hospitals is eight dead and 30 people injured including women and children," local police chief Abdul Hakim Eshaqzai told a news agency.

Local hospitals have been "overwhelmed" by the influx of wounded people, he added, warning: "The casualty toll will possibly increase."

The police chief blamed the attack on "the enemies of the people and government of Afghanistan," a phrase often used by officials to refer to the Taliban. The bomb was carried in a Toyota van, he added.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told media persons that the militant Islamists, battling international forces in Afghanistan since being ousted from power in 2001, were responsible.

"The bomber has attacked the second police district headquarters and has also destroyed four police vehicles in the attack," he said.

A news reporter at the blast scene said the road was covered in blood and body parts, while windows nearby had been shattered.

Pieces of human flesh were scattered as far as 50 metres from the explosion's location, indicating the blast was a strong one, the reporter said.

The Taliban frequently target Afghan police in their campaign against President Hamid Karzai's Western-backed government.

Earlier this week, 19 people including 15 police and an intelligence agent died in a string of attacks centred on police headquarters in Afghanistan's de facto southern capital, Kandahar.

Kandahar is seen as the birthplace of the Taliban and, although southern Afghanistan sees much of the worst fighting, international and Afghan forces are also locked in a tough fight with insurgents in parts of the east.

Last month, 13 civilians were killed by a roadside bomb in Paktika province, also in eastern Afghanistan.

Khost province, where the latest blast took place, borders Pakistan which is widely believed to be a key source of fighters, funds and supplies for the Taliban.

In 2009, Khost was the scene of the worst attack on US intelligence officials since 1983 when eight people were killed by a suicide bomber who was reportedly a triple agent at a CIA base.

There are currently around 140,000 international troops in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban.

The total strength of the Afghan police and army has risen by 36 percent in the last year and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) projects that figures for police will rise above 120,000 by September.

But there are concerns over the quality of the force, which is beset by problems of illiteracy, corruption and desertion.

On Wednesday, the head of the European Union's police training force EUPOL, Jukka Savolainen, said that the process of training the police should have started earlier than it did.