Afghan official: Suicide bomber who hit a NATO patrol, killing a service member, 2 civilians, hid behind a woman's burqa

By AMIR SHAH - Associated Press
Monday, August 7th 2017, 08:22 am EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban suicide bomber who struck a NATO patrol in Afghanistan, killing a service member and two civilians, had concealed his explosives beneath the all-enveloping women's garment known as a burqa, a district governor said Friday.

The attack the previous evening hit the patrol near Qarabagh, barely 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of Kabul.

It was the second suicide bombing in as many days that targeted NATO. On Wednesday, a suicide attacker hit a convoy on the edge of the southern city of Kandahar, killing two U.S. soldiers and wounding another four. Both attacks were claimed by the Taliban.

Abdul Sami Sharifi, the district governor in Qarabagh, said the attacker in Thursday's bombing was riding a motorcycle and rammed the bike into a NATO patrol, setting off his explosives.

The U.S. military confirmed that a service member was killed but did not reveal the soldier's nationality. U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Salvin, a military spokesman, said six service members were wounded, including an Afghan translator.

The wounded were all in stable condition and being treated in the U.S. military hospital at the Bagram airfield north of Kabul, Salvin said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told The Associated Press over the phone on Friday that one of its fighters from Takhar province carried out the attack at 8 p.m. He claimed 11 Americans were killed, but the insurgents routinely exaggerate their claims.

Meanwhile, in southern Helmand province, the Taliban stormed a market on Friday in the Gareshk district and fired at a nearby police station, according to district police chief Ismail Khan Khopalwaq. The market was closed because of the Muslim weekend and no casualties were reported in the attack.

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

The district has been the scene of heavy fighting in recent weeks between Afghan security forces, backed by U.S. air support, and the Taliban, who now control roughly 80 percent of Helmand province.

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

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Associated Press writer Mirwais Khan in Kandahar, Afghanistan, contributed to the report.

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Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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