EFEKabul

A suicide attacker killed himself and three other people Tuesday when he detonated a small truck packed with explosives next to a police station in the western city of Farah, the Afghan government said.

Four of the six police officers and 18 civilians wounded in the blast were in critical condition.

"In the result of this crime, three of our civilian citizens, including a child, were martyred, and 18 other civilians were injured," Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said in a statement.

"People preparing for their first Iftar were targeted with the terrorist attack by the Taliban," he said.

Iftar is the evening meal that marks the end of the daytime fast observed by Muslims during the month of Ramadan, which began Tuesday.

Arian said that despite ongoing peace talks, the Taliban have not reduced the level of violence, killing more than 60 civilians and injuring 164 others in attacks during the past three weeks.

"They don't accept the people's demand for a cease-fire and reduction in violence, and instead target civilians on a daily basis," the Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The Taliban, who tend to remain silent about attacks leading to civilian casualties, have not claimed responsibility for the bombing in Farah.

Representatives of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban have been meeting in Qatar for months, but those talks have made little progress.

Later this month, government and Taliban delegates are due to take part in wider negotiations in Turkey involving the United States and Russia, among other parties.

Officials in Washington said Tuesday that President Joe Biden will soon announce a plan for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, rather than on May 1, the date set by his predecessor, Donald Trump. EFE bks/dr