A suicide bomber has targeted a senior Pakistani police commander in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 10 people and wounding 18 others, officials have said.

Police official Dost Mohammed Khan said on Friday the attacker was targeting Abdul Majeed Marwat, the head of a paramilitary police force called the Frontier Constabulary.

Marwat was not hurt in the attack, which took place about 200 metres away from the US consulate but there was no indication the compound was the target. Marwat confirmed he was the target.

Two members of the force and eight civilians, including two women, were killed, the security officials said.

No group has claimed responsibility.

Peshawar is located on the border with Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region, the main sanctuary for Taliban fighters in the country.

The Pakistani Taliban have carried out many bombings in the city targeting both security forces and civilians.

There are fears that rampant insecurity could prove a major challenge for the elections, not least in Peshawar, a key electoral battleground and home to 2.5 million on the edge of the tribal belt, a Taliban and al-Qaeda stronghold.

Source: Agencies