At least 16 people have been killed in a suicide car bombing targeting Nato forces near the US embassy in Kabul, the Afghan capital.
Six Italian soldiers were among those killed in the blast on Thursday on a road linking Kabul's international airport to the US embassy, the Italian defence ministry said.
Afghan officials said at least 10 civilians were also killed in the attack and 50 more were injured.
Speaking in Rome, Ignazio La Russa, Italy's defence minister, said the suicide bomber
rammed his explosives-laden car into two Italian military vehicles, The Associated Press news agency reported.
He said six of those aboard were killed and four wounded.
Afghan troops could be seen carrying wounded civilians to ambulances near the wreckage of a military vehicle bearing the insignia of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).
Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from Kabul, said the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
"[They said] the purpose is to show that there is no where safe in Afghanistan.
"We were at the site of the explosion mid-morning. There was a lot of chaos.
"The situation is deteriorating, with violence really at an all time high.
"As violence continues people are concerned about the security situation and the political uncertainty in this country."
Our correspondent said the blast marked the fourth major attack in the capital in five weeks.
On September 8, at least three civilians died in an attack targeting a Nato convoy near the entrance to the military airport in Kabul.