KABUL: A suicide car bombing killed at least three civilians in western Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials said, and at least 10 security troops were killed in the country’s north.

Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the suicide car bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives inside Farah city, the capital of Farah province, killing three civilians, including a child.

Afghanistan has seen a nationwide increase in bombings, targeted killings and violence on the battlefield as peace negotiations in Qatar between the Taliban and the Afghan government have stalled.

The target of the Farah attack was the police station in the city’s first district, but the majority of the casualties were civilians, said Arian.

He said besides the dead, 24 others, including young children and six police, were wounded in the attack an hour before residents broke their fast on the first day of Ramazan.

The violence came just hours before US officials said President Joe Biden would withdraw all US troops from the country by Sept 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America.

In northern Baghlan province on Tuesday, at least five police officers were killed when their checkpoint came under attack by insurgents, according to a security official who was not authorised to speak with media.

The official said four other police were wounded in the attack in the Daha-e Ghori district. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Separately, in northern Balkh province, Taliban insurgents attacked an army checkpoint, killing five soldiers and wounding two others, said Hanif Rezaie, a spokesman for the Afghan army commander in the north.

Rezaie said seven insurgents, including a group commander, were also killed in the battle in Chimtal district.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack in Balkh.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021

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