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Five Pakistanis Shot Dead In Southern Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) -- Gunmen shot dead five Pakistani construction workers in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar today, a police official said.

Noor Agha said two militants on a motorcycle opened fire at about 7 a.m. on a group of Pakistani nationals waiting for transport to take them to a building site.

Another Pakistani was wounded in the incident, Agha said.

Attacks on foreign civilians in Afghanistan have increased markedly over the past year, but Pakistanis are rarely targetted by militants because of the Taliban's links to the country.

The Taliban last week staged an audacious attack in central Kabul, targeting two guest houses used by Indians and a shopping center frequented by foreigners. Up to nine Indians were killed as well as an Italian diplomat and a French filmmaker.

Agha said the Pakistanis had been working on a road leading south from Kandahar city to the Panjwai district.

"The enemies of Afghanistan try to harm anyone who wants to work on reconstruction and development in this country," Agha told Reuters.