The killing of a provincial police chief and a women's affairs minister, just days after an assassination attempt on the head of the country's intelligence service, has raised new concerns about security in Afghanistan.
In a statement provided by Taliban spokesperson Qari Yousef Ahmadi to the Associated Press, he says that the insurgent group had been tracking the Nimruz police chief before they attacked him. The killings of the provincial leaders come less than a week after a suicide bomber, posing as a peace messenger from the Taliban, detonated a bomb in an attempt to kill Afghanistan's intelligence chief.
Here is a list of top Afghan officials who have been assassinated this year.
Mawlavi Arsala Rahmani, a former Taliban leader who had become a peace negotiator and was considered a key member of the High Peace Council, was killed by gunmen in Kabul on May 13. Rahmani had served as a deputy minister under the Taliban government, and after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 he decided not to join the insurgents against the coalition forces.
Ahmad Khan Samangani, a former warlord and a prominent member of parliament, was killed by a suicide bomber during his daughter's wedding in Samangan province on July 14. According to the BBC, the attacker posed as a guest at the wedding, embraced Samangani and then detonated his explosives. As an Uzbek leader, Samangani was known to fight for interests of minorities in the Afghan parliament. The attack also killed Mohammad Khan, the provincial intelligence chief.
Hanifa Safi, the provincial head of the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Laghman province was killed in a car bombing while she was leaving her house with her family on July 13. According to the BBC, Safi was known locally for going out in public without covering her head.
Najia Seddiqi, who had become head of Laghman's Ministry of Women's Affairs after the killing of Hanifa Safi, was fatally shot by two gunmen on a motorbike on Dec. 10.
Gen. Mohammad Musa Rasouli, head of Afghan police in Nimruz province, died of severe wounds from a roadside bomb explosion on Dec. 10. Rasouli was traveling back to his home from Herat province when the bomb destroyed his vehicle.
The following officials narrowly survived assassination attempts:
Obaidullah Obaid, Afghanistan's minister for higher education, escaped a roadside bomb attack on his motorcade while he was traveling from Baglan to Kunduz province on July 15.
Assadullah Khalid, director of national intelligence, was injured in an assassination attempt in his private guest house in Kabul on Dec. 6. According to a spokesman, the suicide bomber presented himself as a Taliban representative who had come to meet the intelligence chief to talk about negotiations with the government.