A gunman on a motorcycle opened fire at a group of local cricket players, killing five of them during a game in eastern Laghman province, an official said.

A provincial spokesman, Sarhadii Zhouak, said the attack took place on Thursday in Alinghar district. He said the attacker fled the scene.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Mr. Zhouak blamed the Taliban.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement condemning the attack.

Elsewhere, spokesman Omar Zwak in southern Helmand province said police found the body of slain journalist Noor Ahmad Noori late on Thursday night.

Mr. Zwak said the 30-year-old Nouri, who worked for the local Radio Busd had been abducted earlier in the day.

Keywords: LaghmanTalibanAlinghar