Insurgents tossed hand grenades and fired machine guns at a government convoy south of the city of Mosul (search) on Wednesday, killing the provincial governor and two of his guards, an Interior Ministry official said.

Attackers approached the convoy of Osama Youssef Kashmoula (search), the governor of Nineveh province, as he was traveling to Baghdad (search), an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

He was attacked between the cities of Beji and Tikrit, the U.S. military said in a statement. Kashmoula was wounded in the attack and taken to a hospital where he died, the military said.

Insurgents have repeatedly attacked local officials, who are seen as being collaborators with American forces.

Mosul, in the far north of Iraq, was the site of deadly attacks less than a week before the handover of sovereignty on June 28. A car bombing and a series of assaults in the city killed 44 people and wounded 216.

Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search) claimed responsibility for that attack, which was part of a series of coordinated assaults on police and security forces that killed about 100 people.

The United States is offering $25 million for information leading to al-Zarqawi's capture.