KANDAHAR (AFP) - Taliban gunmen shot dead the most high-profile female police officer in Afghanistan on Sunday as she left her home to go to work on Sunday, officials and the militia said. The attackers were waiting outside the home of Malalai Kakar, head of the city of Kandahar's department of crimes against women, and opened fire on her car, Kandahar government spokesman Zalmay Ayoobi told AFP. "Today between 7 am and 8 am when she was (in her car) outside her house and going to her job, some gunmen attacked," Ayoobi said. "Malalai Kakar died in front of her house. Her son was wounded." A doctor in the city's main hospital said Kakar, in her late 30s, had been shot in the head. "She died on the spot and her son was badly injured and is in a coma," said the doctor, who declined to let his name be used. A spokesman for the extremist Taliban movement, which targets govt officials as part of a growing insurgency, said that the assassins were from his group. "We killed Malalai Kakar," spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP. "She was our target, and we successfully eliminated our target." Kakar, a mother of six, was regularly profiled in international media and was known for her courage in one of Afghanistan's most conservative provinces. A captain in the police force and the most senior policewoman in Kandahar, she headed a team of about 10 women police officers and had reportedly received numerous death threats. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a statement the killing was an "act of cowardice" by Afghanistan's "enemies." The European Union in Afghanistan said Kakar had been an example to others in her country and her murder was "particularly abhorrent."