Afghan officials say a provincial police chief has been killed by a suicide bomber in the capital, Kabul.

Acting Gov. Amanullah Timory of central Uruzgan province said Thursday that police chief Mattiullah Khan died in the attack a day earlier.

The circumstances of the death are unclear and officials could not immediately explain why Khan was in Kabul.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, which comes as Afghanistan prepares to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

The Taliban have fought the Kabul government for 14 years and are currently under pressure to open a dialogue aimed at ending the violence.

Insurgents have stepped up suicide attacks and ambushes on government targets since an Afghan army offensive began in southern Helmand province two months ago.