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Suicide attack kills 11 in Afghanistan

The attack in one of Afghanistan’s main cities comes ahead of a presidential election on 5 April.

FILE: The attack in one of Afghanistan’s main cities comes ahead of a presidential election on 5 April. Picture: AFP

JALALABAD, Afghanistan - At least 11 people were killed and 22 wounded in a suicide bomb attack and gunbattle at a police station in Afghanistan's eastern Jalalabad city early on Thursday morning, according to police and health officials.

The attack in one of Afghanistan's main cities comes ahead of a presidential election on 5 April.

The assault began with two explosions just before dawn targeting the police station and a nearby square, close to compounds used by international organisations including the United Nations.

The initial attack was carried out by two suicide bombers, one of them driving a three-wheeler vehicle.

"From today's attack in Jalalabad so far, we have received 11 dead bodies and 22 wounded," the head of the provincial hospital, Humayoun Zahir, told Reuters.

A police district chief was among the dead, according to Fazel Ahmad Shirzad, police chief for Nangahar province.

The wounded included an Afghan assigned to a security detail for UN staff and the offices of a local radio and television broadcaster were also damaged in the attack, according to a security source.

Militants have threatened to kill anyone participating in the election, and have stepped up attacks in heavily populated areas including the capital Kabul since the start of the year.

Security forces discovered at least two roadside bombs on the heavily guarded highway between Jalalabad and Kabul on Wednesday, and carried out controlled explosions.