A suicide bomber who targeted a Nato patrol, killing at least two US soldiers, was wearing a burqa, officials have said. The burqa is a body-covering dress worn by some conservative Muslim women when in public. It is often seen in Islamic states and it covers the whole body from head to toe. There is a semi-transparent cloth over the eyes to allow the wearer to see.
The attacker was hiding under the garment when he rammed the motorcycle he was driving into the convoy on Wednesday 2 August, Abdul Sami Sharifi, governor of the district of Qarabagh, north of the capital Kabul, was quoted by AP as saying.
Another five people were injured in the attack, according to the US military in Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The group's spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the blast destroyed two vehicles and killed at least 15 foreign soldiers, including two "high-ranking officers", Reuters said. However, the Taliban is known for inflating the number of deaths in their claimed attacks.
The Nato convoy was travelling towards the airport in Kandahar, home to a military base housing troops aiding Afghan forces in their fight against terrorism.
The US and Nato coalition comprises some 13,500 soldiers. US President Donald Trump is considering whether to send additional troops to the country.
The Taliban, a Sunni fundamentalist political movement, took control of Afghanistan in 1996, imposing a strict version of Islam and persecuting anyone who would not abide by their laws. Although Taliban rule ended following the US invasion in 2001, its insurgents still control some areas of the country.
String of attacks
The suicide bombing in Qarabagh was the latest of a series of attacks that have rocked Afghanistan in recent months.
Attacks have been claimed by both the Taliban and terror group Isis. The latter, which is losing territory in both Syria and Iraq due to counter-offensives in both countries, is fighting to establish a foothold in Afghanistan.
In July, at least 26 people were killed and another 42 wounded when a car laden with explosives rammed into a bus carrying government employees in Kabul. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the deadly bombing. The Interior Ministry called the attack "a criminal act against humanity".
In May, a truck bomb attack killed at least 150 people and wounded more than 450 in the capital, in what was the deadliest single attack to target Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion.
The truck bombing sparked protests in the capital, with people calling for more security. The rallies turned deadly, and between two and eight people were killed during clashes with police.
In June, Isis reportedly seized a mountain redoubt, known as Tora Bora, in the Nangarhar Province, following week-long fighting against the Taliban, which, however, has denied the claims.