An Afghan official says at least three policemen have died after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle near a police training base in southern Helmand province.

Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, said Saturday that 12 others, including two civilians, were wounded in the attack.

The attack targeted a training center for police in the Nad Ali district, Zwak says.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yusouf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Taliban frequently uses roadside bombs, ambushes and suicide attacks against Afghan security forces across the country. Civilians are often caught up in the attacks.

The group, in its 15th year of war against the government, has been fiercely active in the poppy-growing province in recent months, intent on protecting routes for smuggling drugs that fund the insurgency.