KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Taliban guerillas shot dead an Afghan intelligence official on Wednesday, the second senior security officer to be killed in 24 hours.
Violence in Afghanistan, already at a high level, intensified last week when the Taliban announced they had launched a spring offensive in their campaign to oust foreign troops and overthrow the Western-backed government.
The provincial intelligence official, Abdul Hakim, was gunned down as he was walking to his office in Ghazni province, southwest of the capital, the provincial police chief said.
One of the gunmen was captured as he tried to flee on a motorbike, said the police chief, Abdur Rahman Sarjang, who said the attackers were Taliban.
Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing of another provincial intelligence officer in the southern province of Nimroz on Tuesday.
Four Taliban fighters were killed in a clash with Afghan security forces on the same day in the neighboring province of Helmand.
The violence comes as NATO members are sending thousands of more troops to Afghanistan as the alliance prepares to take over responsibility for the dangerous south from U.S. forces.
As NATO members including Britain, Canada and the Netherlands build up the numbers of their troops in Afghanistan, the United States is aiming to cut its strength from more than 19,000 troops to about 16,500.