A car bomber attacked a police checkpoint Saturday in southern Afghanistan, killing five people and himself, an official said.

Three police and two civilians were killed in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province, said local police chief Zamarai Khan. Four police and one civilian were wounded.

Many outlying districts of Kandahar province are teeming with Taliban militants, and Afghan police and the government have little control. The U.S. plans to send thousands of new soldiers to the region over the next six months.

Elsewhere, the U.S. coalition and Afghan forces killed six militants during a patrol in southern Afghanistan.

The U.S. coalition said Saturday that the combined forces were on a patrol in Helmand province Thursday when they spotted militants pulling out weapons from a hiding spot. The combined forces killed the militants and destroyed the weapons.

Violence has spiked across Afghanistan the last two years. More than 6,000 people have died so far this year in an insurgency related violence according to an Associated Press count of figures provided by Afghan and Western officials.