KANDAHAR – At least six people, five of them female government workers, were killed by unknown gunmen in southern Kandahar province in Afghanistan.

The women were travelling to work at the airport when two attackers riding a motorcycle opened fire on their minivan, according to a spokesperson for the Kandahar governor.

The five women were in charge of searching and frisking women travellers in the airport and were employed by a private company, Kandahar International Airport director Ahmadullah Faizi said.

Mr. Faizi added the women had been concerned about their security after receiving death threats from people who disapproved of their career, the BBC reported.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but women in Afghanistan are often targeted by the Taliban.

Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban militants, but the city had been relatively stable in the recent few months, despite anti-government armed forces attempting to destabilise the province.

Officials said an investigation was under way with no arrests made so far.