The engineers were ambushed while traveling on the country's main Kabul-Kandahar highway near Muqur in Ghazni province, said Fatima Kazmi, executive director of Bahar, a Pakistani construction firm. The dead man was identified as Anwar Shah, 38.

Security staff protecting workers along the road later found the vehicle, its windows shattered by gun-fire, and two other Pakistanis. One engineer was missing, she said.

The car was unmarked, and it was unclear who had carried out the attack.

Workers on the road, a prestige reconstruction project mainly funded by the United States, have been the target of a series of attacks and abductions by suspected Taliban resistance fighters.

Road project

Bahar is not working on the road, but is a subcontractor for Louis Berger Inc., an American firm overseeing the road project.

The Islamabad-based firm is building schools and clinics in several provinces.

It has also supplied heavy equipment for the US military headquarters at Bagram, north of the capital.

Meanwhile, Arab and Muslim nations have given the
least assistance to Afghanistan among international donors, Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani said on Monday. 
  

"I think it deserves emphasis that the least amount of
assistance is coming from Muslim countries to this country which has been at the forefront of freeing the world from the evils of communism and then terrorism and I hope that Muslim solidarity will come"

Ashraf Ghani,
Afghan finance minister

He said: "I hope that our Arab brothers will help us substantially. We have not seen any major contribution from our Arab brothers," Ghani said.

European aid

He was speaking as European Commission representative
Karl Harbo signed over a new $100 million aid package. 
  
"I think it deserves emphasis that the least amount of
assistance is coming from Muslim countries to this country which has been at the forefront of freeing the world from the evils of communism and then terrorism and I hope that Muslim solidarity will come," Ghani said. 

Ghani has repeatedly said Afghanistan needs $30 billion in aid and investment over the next five years to avoid turning into
a "narco-mafia state".

He said the United States, European Union, Japan and Canada were the country's main donors. 

Afghan rebuilding

Harbo said the European Union would pay out around 200 million euros this calendar year and had so far given 350 million euros since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001. 
     
"I'm very confident there will be another five-year pledge to
Afghanistan when the new financial perspective has been completed," he said. 
 
The new EC aid mainly covers reconstruction of the road from
Kabul to the Pakistan border at Torkham, public sector reform, rural development and help for returned refugees. 
    
After 23 years of war Afghanistan is facing major challenges in rebuilding national infrastructure and institutions, particularly in the face of attacks by an apparent Taliban resurgence in the south and east.