At least 13 people were killed and over 30 others wounded as a suicide attacker detonated an explosive-laden vehicle in a market place of northern Faryab province of Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials said.
A senior security official, Brigadier General Toryalai Abdyani, said in a statement the explosives were planted in a rickshaw and its driver failed to force his way into a branch of private Kabul Bank in provincial capital Maimana.
The postmortem department in charge at Afghan-Turk hospital, Dr. Samir Enayat, confirmed that the hospital has received 13 deceased and 30 injured so far.
Provincial Governor Mohammadullah Patash also confirmed the death toll and said 23 people were wounded in the attack.
Local security officials said preliminary information showed that the attacker was approaching a checkpoint at the entry of the market close to the Misara Square in front of the Energy and Water Department when he detonated his explosives.
The condition of many injured is reported critical and death toll is feared to rise. The attack came prior to the presidential elections that are scheduled to be held on April 5 across Afghanistan.
Taliban rebels have threatened violent activities to disrupt polls that will choose the president to lead Afghanistan as NATO/ISAF forces prepare to leave the country by the end of the year.
According to United Nations 2,959 civilians were killed and 5,656 wounded last year, a 14 per cent increase from the previous year.