KANDAHAR (AFP) - Two armed men on motorbikes gunned down a woman provincial legislator in Afghanistans volatile southern city of Kandahar on Sunday, an official said. Sitara Achikzai was on her way home from work when she was killed in the drive-by shooting outside her house, the head of the council, Ahmad Wali Karzai told AFP. She has been martyred by two men on motorbikes and the case is under investigation, said Karzai, brother of President Hamid Karzai. He blamed the attack on 'enemies of Afghanistan, a term often used to refer to Taliban behind a wave of killings, including assassinations, as part of an insurgency. There was, however, no immediate claim of responsibility. Taliban gunmen in the city shot dead the most high-profile female police officer in Afghanistan in September last year. Kandahar province, from where the Taliban rose as a militia in the early 1990s, had 3 women on its provincial council. Another woman, Zarghona Kakar, survived an assassination attempt two years ago in which her husband was killed, AFP said. Meanwhile, Afghan and international forces killed 40 Taliban militants in separate battles in the troubled country, authorities said on Sunday. In one incident, the rebels ambushed a joint Afghan and foreign forces patrol in Shinkay district of Zabul province late Saturday, sparking an exchange of gunfire, provincial police chief Abdul Rehman Sarjang told AFP. Twenty-two Taliban were killed. The militants left the bodies behind. Four are Pakistani nationals and the rest are Afghans, he said. Sarjang added the international forces called in air support after the ambush. There were no casualties to the joint forces. The interior ministry gave the same toll in a statement. But the US military said separately it had killed four Taliban in the same area, also on Saturday. It was unclear if it was the same incident. Separately, troops killed 18 insurgents in the northeastern province of Kunar overnight, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said. The Afghan and ISAF forces had been able to identify the group as militants and ambushed them, an officer said. There are more than 70,000 international troops under NATO and US command in Afghanistan helping in the fight against the insurgents.