"Six of my bodyguards and my son were martyred in the suicide attack," he added.

 

"Fourteen other people, including police and civilians, were wounded."

 

'Atmosphere of fear'

 

Daud Askaryar, the provincial police chief, said four of the wounded were civilians.

 

"The attack was aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear in our province." he said.

 

Nimroz is a relatively peaceful province sharing a long border with Iran.

 

Earlier on Monday, Afghan soldiers foiled an attempted bus bombing in the capital Kabul, preventing a would-be suicide bomber detonating his explosive-laden jacket, the Afghan defence ministry said.

 

Soldiers became wary when a man they did not recognise tried to get on an Afghan army commuter bus, general Zahir Azimi, the ministry spokesman, told AFP.

 

"They realised that an unfamiliar person was trying to get on the bus," he said.

 

Main targets

 

Some of the worst suicide bombings in Afghanistan have been on security forces' buses in the capital.

 

On September 29, a suicide bomber in an army uniform blew up a military bus in an attack that killed about 30 people and wounded many more.

 

A similar explosion on a bus taking police trainers to the police academy in mid-June killed 35 people.

 

Insurgents have launched more than 130 suicide attacks in 2007 - a record number - including one in northern Baghlan province two weeks ago followed by panicked gunfire from bodyguards that left up to 77 people dead.

 

Government officials and international forces have been primary targets, but authorities have been particularly wary of attackers targeting army or police buses in Kabul after two such attacks this year.

 

More than 6,000 people have died in insurgency-related violence this year - a record number, according to an Associated Press count based on figures from Western and Afghan officials.