KANDAHAR (Reuters) - A motorcycle suicide bomber killed the deputy governor of Afghanistans Kandahar province on Saturday, a blow to US-led forces trying to bolster governance and fight a robust insurgency in the Talibans heartland. Violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since US-backed Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban in late 2001 with casualties on all sides at record levels and militant attacks increasing in number and spreading to almost every part of the country. Deputy Governor Abdul Latif Ashna was killed as he left his home to travel to work in Kandahar city, capital of Kandahar province, the governors spokesman Zalmay Ayoubi said. At least five other civilians who were wounded in the blast had been taken to hospital. No further details were immediately available about the attack or about the condition of the wounded. US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry who was visiting Kandahar on Saturday condemned the attack but said it would not sap efforts to increase security in the southern province. The loss of a great deputy governor like this is a setback. What weve seen is consistently Afghan government leaders emerge and the people continue to rally in an effort to establish security in this provinc e, he told journalists. Kandahar is the spiritual homeland of the Taliban and has been the main focus of US efforts over the past year to turn the tide of a war now in its tenth year. Tens of thousands of foreign and Afghan troops have run 'clearing operations in some of the countrys most volatile districts around Kandahar city, while Afghan police, mentored by foreign trainers, formed security perimeters inside the city which has seen a drop in large-scale attacks over the past year, militants have managed to step up a campaign of targeted killings.