MANAGUA (Reuters) - Unidentified assailants shot dead a police commissioner from Nicaragua's central region around midnight, a law enforcement official said on Thursday, in the first assassination of a high-level police officer in the country in more than a decade.

Francisco Diaz, a deputy chief of the national police force, told local television station Channel 8 that Commissioner Buenaventura Miranda was heading home in Boaco, a city about 56 miles (90 km) northeast of the capital Managua, when he was attacked.

"The preliminary information is that he was murdered outside his home," Diaz said.

Before Miranda, the last high-level police officer assassinated in Nicaragua was Commissioner Cristian Munguia, in Managua in 2002.

(Reporting by Ivan Castro; Writing by Natalie Schachar; Editing by James Dalgleish)