Afghan government official assassinated

A local government official has been assassinated in southern Afghanistan - the third official killed in Helmand province in a week.

The governor's office in Helmand said two gunmen on a motorcycle fired at a member of the Nawa district council yesterday evening in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

The councillor was rushed to a hospital but died of his wounds.

Insurgents have responded to heavy pressure from US and Nato coalition forces by targeting officials and others aligned with the Afghan government.

In two incidents, militants killed a councillor and chief prosecutor from Gereskh district.

On Friday, a man with a bomb hidden in his turban blew himself up outside the Helmand governor's compound. One policeman was injured in the blast.