The Taliban say they were behind a suicide attack that killed the mayor of Kandahar this morning.
Ghulam Haidar Hamidi was preparing to meet with a group of elders at city hall when the bomber struck. Afghan authorities say the man hid the explosive device inside his turban.
The attack comes two weeks after the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai was assassinated in the same city.
The mayor’s death is the latest in a string of assassinations of powerful southern leaders and Karzai allies that could weaken the president’s hold on an area that has long been a Taliban stronghold.
Two of Hamidi’s deputy mayors were killed in attacks by insurgents last year.
Kandahar province is the Taliban’s birthplace and a focus of recent efforts by a surge of US troops to turn the tide against the insurgency in the decade-long war.