Taliban fighters kill Afghan government official

Fighters from Afghanistan's vanquished Taliban militia killed a senior government official Thursday in an ambush in the southern province in Helmand, a provincial police chief said.

Mohammed Zarin, chief of administration in Nawa district, was walking to work from his home when gunmen shot him, said Abdul Rahman, chief of police in Helmand.

No one has been arrested and Rahman said police were searching for the assailants.

A U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban militia in late 2001 for harboring members of the al-Qaida terror network.

Since its ouster, the Taliban have been blamed for a stubborn insurgency, mainly in southern Afghanistan, attacking Afghan and U.S. coalition troops, government officials and government installations.

On Wednesday, suspected Taliban fighters attacked U.S. and Afghan army troops patrolling in Ghazni, a province in central Afghanistan, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Two Taliban fighters were arrested from a compound where they had fled after an exchange of fire with the coalition forces, the statement said. No one was reported hurt in the fighting.

On Tuesday, suspected Taliban fighters set fire to a boys' high school in Nad Ali district in Helmand, but no one was hurt in the arson attack.

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