Taliban militants attacked the government delegation visiting the village where an American soldier is suspected of killing 16 civilians. 

A memorial service was being held for the victims in a mosque in Panjwai in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, when the delegation that included Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brothers and several top government officials was attacked from multiple directions, according to a BBC report.

One death has been reported so far. Further information is awaited.

A BBC report mentions a senior Afghanistan official as saying that ''I can confirm that the Taliban have launched an attack from several directions against a government delegation. The delegation was there to meet villagers and tribal elders. This is an area where the Taliban exist and operate. At this stage, our forces are returning fire.''

Protests were raging across the country against the massacre of civilians by a U.S. soldier. Taliban had vowed to avenge the killings and had stated it would target the ISAF and the U.S. forces on Monday. Hundreds of students protested against the killings in Eastern Afghanistan and demanded a public trial of the suspect.

The 38-year old suspect, whose identity is not yet revealed has been arrested and is confined at an undisclosed location.  

Though U.S. and the NATO-led forces have condemned the attack and expressed grief over the incident, it has further worsened the already strained U.S.-Afghanistan relations. Earlier, incidents of burning the Koran by the U.S soldiers at the NATO base and reports of civilian casualties had led to violent protests against the U.S. soldiers, in which several civilians and six U.S. soldiers were killed.

The incident is also expected to speed up the process of withdrawal of western forces from Afghanistan.

The U.S. soldier, suspected of going on a killing spree, was in the village of Alkoza, near his base in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province. He opened fire at three houses randomly, killing 16 civilians including women and children.

The soldier is reported to have suffered a nervous breakdown. He later surrendered himself to the authorities. He might stand trial in the U.S. for the alleged massacre.