An Afghan official says insurgents have killed the top judge on a provincial appeals court.

Jawed Salangi, spokesman for the governor of the eastern Ghazni province, said Sunday that Mohammad Anwar was ambushed and shot while in neighboring Wardak province the day before.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing in an email sent to reporters.

Insurgent attacks on Afghan security forces and officials have intensified across the country in the past year.

Judicial officials have long been Taliban targets. Anwar's killing comes days after the nomination of a new attorney general, Farid Hamidi.

Hamidi is a former human rights commissioner whose appointment has to be approved by parliament.

President Ashraf Ghani has struggled to fill key security posts, with ministers of defense and interior acting in their positions.