Two people, including a local government official, have been killed after a car bomb exploded in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro.

The deadly blast occurred around 09:00 local time (08:00 CET), Ukrainian police said in a statement.

Authorities have confirmed that a man and a woman were in the car and were killed in the explosion.

Images released by police show the charred wreckage of the vehicle alongside a major road to the south of Dnipro.

In a statement on Telegram, Ukraine’s Security Service said they had launched an investigation into suspected terrorism.

“The SBU is conducting appropriate investigative actions to establish all the circumstances of the explosion and the persons involved in it,” the statement read.

According to authority, the victims were a regional government emergency service spokeswoman and a first aid volunteer helping the Ukrainian army.

Ukrainian police said they were able to confirm the identities of the victims from documents found at the scene.

“An investigative task force, explosives technicians, and forensic laboratory experts are currently working at the scene,” the interior ministry added.

“A homemade explosive device was detonated,” a law enforcement official also told AFP on condition of anonymity. No suspects have been immediately arrested.

In recent years, several Ukrainian officials have been targeted by attacks.

In June 2017, a member of the Defence Ministry’s intelligence department was killed in a car bomb explosion in Kyiv, while an SBU official was also similarly killed in Mariupol three months earlier.

Since 2014, Ukraine has been at war with pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east, following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. The conflict has left more than 13,000 dead.