A suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a US consulate vehicle during morning rush hour in Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, AFP reports.

The attack, which left at least two dead and 19 injured, is closely linked to Taliban insurgents and terrorist group Al-Qaeda. Reports said that the car was loaded with 110 kilos (240 pounds) of explosives, including more than 10 mortar shells. Peshawar lies near the Afghan border where most hideouts of Taliban militants are located.

The US state department said that two US personnel were among those killed, contradicting earlier reports from local authorities that claimed two US consulate personnel had died. The blast also left two Pakistani staff and around 19 people injured. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attack as “cowardly”.

US-Pakistan relations lapsed into hostility following the US drone attacks that killed 24 Pakistani troops. Islamabad shut down supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan. Anti-American sentiment surged when the routes were reopened following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s carefully worded apology.