Suspected Taliban (search) militants gunned down six Afghan employees of a U.S.-funded anti-drugs project in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, the second fatal attack on project staff in two days, officials said.

The victims were driving to Kabul (search) with the body of one of five men killed Wednesday when they were attacked in Zabul province's Shahjoy district, said Naik Mohammed, a doctor at a hospital in Qalat, where the victims' bodies were taken.

Rick Marshall, the Kabul spokesman for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said the six Afghans killed Thursday are believed to be employees of Chemonics International Inc., (search) a Washington-based consulting firm.

The five killed Wednesday also were employees of Chemonics, which is managing a USAID-sponsored project to provide alternative livelihoods to farmers growing opium, the raw material for heroin.