Afghan official says bomber who hit NATO wore woman's burqa

Associated Press | Published: 13:24, Aug 04,2017


An Afghan official said that the suicide bomber who hit a NATO patrol, killing one service member and two Afghan civilians, had hid behind the all-enveloping women's garment known as a burqa.

Abdul Sami Sharifi, governor of the district of Qarabagh, located north of the Afghan capital, said on Friday that the attacker was riding a motorcycle.

He added that the bomber rammed his motorcycle into a NATO patrol late the previous night.

The US military in Afghanistan reported the death of the coalition member but did not identify the soldier's nationality. The statement said that another five service members and their Afghan translator were hurt in the attack, but were in a stable condition.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to The Associated Press.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the suicide attacker from northern Takhar province hit the patrol near Qarabagh, barely 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Kabul, about 8:00pm Thursday. Mujahid claimed that 11 Americans were killed.

The conflicting death tolls could not be immediately explained, but the Taliban routinely exaggerate their claims.

Thursday's attack was the second suicide attack against NATO convoys in as many days. On Wednesday, a suicide attacker hit a convoy on the edge of the southern city of Kandahar, killing two US soldiers and wounding another four.

Meanwhile in southern Helmand's Gareshk district, Taliban gunmen took control of a market that was closed because of the Islamic weekly holiday on Friday. They also fired at a nearby police station, Gareshk district police chief Ismail Khan Khopalwaq said.

On Thursday, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a police outpost in Gareshk, killing two police officers and wounding another two.

The district has been the scene of heavy fighting in recent weeks between Afghan National Security Forces, aided by US air support, and the Taliban, who control roughly 80 percent of Helmand province.

The Taliban have taken credit for the attacks, claiming heavy casualties among police.

Gareshk district is also where the Pentagon confirmed that an errant US bomb last month destroyed a police outpost, killing 12 officers and wounding another 11. The incident is still under investigation and a joint US and Afghan delegation earlier visited the area.


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