Three Diyala provincial officials were shot and killed by unknown assailants while traveling on Sunday to a funeral for a colleague killed earlier in the week, Iraqi officials said.

Jassim Mohammed, a governor's aide for refugee affairs, was killed along with Diyala provincial council members Shihab Ahmed and Dureid Mohammed, said Deputy Governor Ghassan al-Khadran.

The three were attacked in the Mahmoudiya area, about 25 miles south of Baghdad (search), as they were heading to the holy city of Karbala for the burial of the mayor of the town of Hebheb, who was killed by gunmen on Thursday.

Government officials are frequent targets of insurgents, who often accuse them of collaborating with the U.S occupation. The attacks mark the third time in the past two weeks that Diyala province officials have been killed.

On Oct. 29, Aqil Hamid al-Adili, an assistant to the governor for projects affairs, was killed by unidentified gunmen as he was sitting in a friend's office in Baqouba.

Baqouba, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, is within the insurgent-heavy Sunni Triangle (search) area.