Afghan President Hamid Karzai met recently with members of the country’s clerical councils to get their assistance in persuading insurgents not to hide explosives in suicide bombers' turbans or in other religious or cultural symbols.
The Taliban, however, appear to have responded by hiding a bomb in a mosque in Kandahar province.
In the last five weeks, suicide bombers have killed the mayor of Kandahar and a senior cleric in the city with small amounts of explosives hidden in their turbans. In both cases, the bombers grabbed their victims before triggering the explosives.
It is believed to be the first time turbans have been used in suicide attacks.
A man’s turban has important religious and cultural significance and it is considered dishonourable to touch it.
Karzai met with clerics this week and pleaded with them to use their influence on the Taliban and other insurgents to dissuade them from using cultural or religious garments to hide explosives.
In the past, insurgents have also used burqas to hide explosives because male guards normally will not search a woman.