"One militant set off an explosives-laden vehicle at an Afghan Local Police (ALP) security checkpoint at around 12 noon. As a result six ALP personnel and three Afghan army soldiers were killed and 20 civilians, including six children, sustained injuries," spokesman Din Mohammad Darwish told Xinhua.

 

The blast also damaged a mosque and several houses nearby, the source said, adding the injured were shifted to a district hospital in the province , the capital of which is Pul-e-Alam, 60 km south of Kabul.

 

The ALP, or community police, was established in 2010 to protect villages and districts around country where army and police have limited presence.No group has claimed responsibility yet for the attack, but the Taliban routinely claim responsibility for such attacks.

 

The Taliban have intensified attacks over the past couple of months as the NATO and US forces are withdrawing from the country.

 

The war-torn country is due to take over the responsibility for its own security from NATO-led troops by the end of year.More than 34,000 NATO-led coalition troops, down from the peak of 130,000 in 2010, are stationed in Afghanistan.

 

Nearly 24,000 of them are Americans and the US plans to trim its forces to less than 10,000 next year.