Afghan suicide bombers killed two children and wounded six others Monday, when their explosive vests detonated prematurely as they went to attack police, an official said.
The three bombers were on a motorcycle when their explosives went off in southern Kandahar city, killing and wounding children playing nearby, provincial spokesman Jawed Faisal told AFP.
Shortly afterwards a group of armed insurgents launched an attack on police headquarters in the volatile capital, the spiritual birthplace of the hardline Islamist Taliban.
"Probably the three bombers who blew up and killed children were going to join the attack," Faisal said.
The children were aged between eight and twelve and were playing at the time of the explosion, he said.
The attack on the police headquarters, some three kilometres away, began with an explosion and continued for around an hour after at least three insurgents took over a nearby school and fired on police, officials said.
Six people, including two policemen, were wounded before all three attackers were killed, provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq told AFP.
"Police handled the situation professionally. All three attackers were killed. Unfortunately six, including two police, were wounded," he said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks in Kandahar on their website.
Also on Monday, a suicide bomber on a bicycle tried to attack a police vehicle in Shibirghan, the capital city of Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan, provincial police chief Abdul Aziz Ghairat told AFP.
The explosive-laden bicycle detonated before reaching its target and wounded 24 civilians and two police, he said.
The Taliban, whose regime was toppled by a US-led invasion in 2001 after the 9/11 Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States, are fighting to oust the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.