An Afghan official says a suicide car bomber has killed at least five people in an attack that targeted a former district police chief in southern Helmand province.

Omar Zwak, spokesman for Helmand's provincial governor, says the bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle near the house of the former police chief in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, on Wednesday.

Five people were killed in the explosion. Zwak says the former police chief and 18 others were wounded in the attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but the Taliban frequently use roadside bombs and suicide attacks against Afghan security forces and government officials in the country.