He said SAITA employs around 1,000 Pakistanis in Afghanistan, working mainly on road construction projects funded by grants from Japan and Europe.

Noor Agha, a police official, said two attackers on a motorcycle opened fire at
the labourers as they were waiting for transport to take them to the building site.

"The enemies of Afghanistan try to harm anyone who wants to work on reconstruction and development in this country," Agha said.

A spokesman for Pakistan's foreign ministry said Pakistan had asked the Afghan authorities to investigate the incident and improve security for its nationals in the country.