Kabul, Jan 04 (Agencies): A bomb blast in the Afghan capital killed a police officer and wounded three other people early on Tuesday, a Government official said, on the day marking the adoption of the country's post-Taliban constitution.

The blast, a rarity in Kabul, served as a grim reminder of insurgents' ability to strike at will across the country. It was a jarring preamble to the scheduled departure on Tuesday of members of a Government-appointed peace delegation to Pakistan, where they will meet with Pakistani officials and discuss efforts to launch talks with Taliban rebels.

The attack in downtown Kabul took place in an area where several Government buildings stand, including the finance and defense ministries, said Abdul Saboor, an official with the Interior Ministry's counterterrorism unit. He said two police officers and a civilian were wounded.

The bomb went off as the police officer approached the device to defuse it, Saboor said.
The bomb ripped a metre-high hole in the side of a brick building where it had been placed.

Tuesday's bombing appeared to be a symbolic strike against the Government. Later in the day, President Hamid Karzai was scheduled to give a speech marking the anniversary of the country's post-Taliban constitution—a document signed in 2004 that laid out a new course of the nation.

Karzai has repeatedly pushed to bring the insurgents into the political mainstream if they accept the country's constitution and repudiate al-Qaida. Insurgents have so far rebuffed the efforts.

Much of the insurgency's leadership is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, and Afghan and NATO officials argue that the ability to secure Afghanistan hinges in large part on Pakistan's willingness to crack down on militants who use its territory as a staging ground for attacks. The High Peace Council delegation is also expected to meet with Pakistan's President and Prime Minister.