NEW YORK - Citizens of North Ogden, a city in the US state of Utah, are mourning the loss of its mayor who was killed when an Afghan commando shot him in Kabul on Saturday, according to American media reports.

The Mayor, Maj. Brent Taylor, was killed, according to the states lieutenant governor, Spencer J. Cox, who expressed shock in a statement. announcements on Twitter and I hate this. Im struggling for words, Cox said I love Mayor Taylor, his amazing wife Jennie and his 7 sweet kids. Utah weeps for them today.

Friends, neighbours and colleagues remembered Major Taylor as a “hardworking and compassionate man”.

Major Taylor had taken leave from his position in North Ogden, a city of about 20,000 people, to serve with the Utah National Guard in Afghanistan. Service is really what leadership is all about, he wrote on Facebook in January before what was to be a years deployment.

He said the assignment, his fourth deployment, was as part of an advisory team training an Afghan commando battalion.

Debra Richardson, a NATO spokeswoman, said in Kabul that the gunman appeared to have been a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, according to media reports.

The attacker was immediately killed by other Afghan forces,she said.

NATO had not released the identities or ranks of the service members, or the location of the attack. But United States officials suggested it had occurred at an American special operations forces hub in Kabul that is used as a staging base for missions around the capital and in neighbouring provinces.

The attack was the second of its kind in less than two weeks. On Oct. 22, an Afghan commando opened fire on members of the American-led NATO coalition in the western province of Herat, killing one and wounding two.