Suspected Taliban militants shot and killed two Afghan female police officers in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province on Wednesday as peace talks between Taliban, Afghan government and US administration come to its final stages.

“Terrorists shot at two woman police officers in Chawk-e-Madad neighbourhood, Police District 1 of the city at morning rush hour. We pay tributes to martyred officers’ sacrifices and condemn this gruesome act of terror,” provincial police spokesman Jamal Barakzai told Xinhua news agency.

The policewomen were on their way to duty in Arghandab district, in the north of Kandahar city, before being shot in the latest targeted attack. The attackers riding a motorcycle fled the scene. An investigation into the incident was launched by the police official added.

Over the past months, big Afghan cities have witnessed a spate of terror attacks by the Taliban insurgents and Islamic State (IS) outfit opposing the government.

About 14,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, training and advising Afghan security forces and conducting counter-insurgency operations. As United States plans to leave Afghanistan, many believe it could give space to civil war if things do not go as planned. Both US negotiators and the Taliban have reported progress after eight rounds of talks since late last year. With America backing country’s government in Kabul and its security forces and Taliban talking about peace, only time will tell how successful the negotiations go.