Four police officers died and 17 were wounded Monday in a suicide attack in the eastern Afghan district of Narkh, a spokesman for the Wardak provincial government said.

The attacker detonated a car bomb near the main police barracks in Narkh, Attadullah Khugiyani told Afghan news agency AIP.

"Four policemen died, including three top officers, and another 17 were wounded in the attack. Four of the injured are in critical condition," Khugiyani said.

Both the barracks and neighboring buildings were heavily damaged in the blast.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

"The local administration building, the intelligence offices and the barracks for the special forces and the police were completely destroyed," insurgent spokesman Zabiullah Muyahid told AIP.

Suicide attacks and strikes with homemade bombs are the methods most frequently used by the Taliban to hit Afghan and international forces although, in practice, they cause a large number of civilian casualties.

Combat troops of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force are in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan and gradually transferring responsibility for security to the Afghan police and the army.

The NATO withdrawal will conclude in December 2014, if the previously established schedule is adhered to, but the United States is negotiating maintaining troops in the country after that date. EFE