Afghan provincial official gunned down in south

Two men on a motorbike gunned down an Afghan provincial official as he walked to work Wednesday in the main southern city of Kandahar, police said. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the assassination.
The killing comes as NATO and Afghan forces move into the 12th day of a major offensive to push militants out of a Taliban stronghold in neighboring Helmand province.
The military alliance reported Wednesday that fighting was tapering off but bombs and gunmen continued to pose a threat.