No casualties were caused by Wednesday's assassination attempt in which a bomb was planted in a vehicle timed to go off as the governor arrived at work.

Police chief Abdul Basir Salangi said he believed the bomb had been planted in an Afghan army Jeep used by the assistant head of the province's administration department and parked near the governor's car.

The bomb went off just after the governor had been taken to work in the capital of the eastern Nangarhar province, Jalalabad, at 9am (0430 GMT).

"Fortunately the governor arrived at work earlier than the 9am time he usually arrives," Salangi said.

The driver has been detained for questioning but is not regarded as a suspect.

Judge killed

In a separate attack on Tuesday evening, a senior judge of a western Afghan province was killed, the province's governor said.

Unidentified assailants on a motorcycle shot dead Shaikh Ahmad, the second most senior judge in Farah province.

The drugs trade also contributes
to the increased level of violence

"He was coming home from a mosque when two men on a motorcycle opened fire and unfortunately killed him," the governor of Farah, Ezatullah Wasfi, said.

It was not clear who was responsible for the killing.

Wasfi described the killers as "the enemies of Afghanistan" a term government officials use to refer to Taliban and other anti-government fighters.

The Taliban has increased its fighting recently in what security officials say are disputes over land and water, the illegal drugs trade, clan feuds and business disputes.