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Afghan officials say a female provincial legislator was shot dead Sunday in the restive southern province of Kandahar.

The head of the provincial council, Ahmad Wali Karzai, says Sitara Achakzai was heading home from work when she was killed by two gunmen on motorbikes.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmedi, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Achakzai was an activist for women's rights.

Last year, Taliban gunmen fatally shot one of Afghanistan's most high-ranking, high-profile female police officers, Malalai Kakar. 

Elsewhere in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Afghan and U.S-led forces killed 22 Taliban militants Saturday in Zabul province. 

However, U.S. military officials separately reported that Afghan and coalition forces killed four militants in the same area.  It was not immediately clear if the reports referred to the same incident.

The U.S. statement said the troops were attacked by gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades while they were on patrol.

Officials say the international forces called in air support after they were attacked. 

Authorities say no coalition forces were wounded.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.