A blast in the Afghan capital Kabul kills three and wounds dozens more - less than two hours before a ceremony to mark the formal handover by NATO of security in the country to Afghan forces.
The target of the bomb was a member of the High Peace Council whose motorcade was passing through the area.
The cleric was not hurt, but the incident highlights concern over how the 352,000-strong Afghan army will handle such attacks once they control their own security.
About 10 kilometres away, Afghan President Hamid Karzai remained upbeat.
During a ceremony and news conference with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Karzai said the handover was one of his greatest desires and will hold significant meaning to the people of Afghanistan.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI SAYING:
"To have the Afghan forces in command of themselves and in service of the country. For the people of afghanistan this is equally, perhaps more of a great day. Where the Afghan people will see their own children, their own young ones providing protection for their lives and to their country."
Karzai also confirmed plans for talks between members of the High Peace Council and members of the Taliban later in Qatar.
Security detail handed over in Afghanistan (1:16)
June 18 - International troops officially handover security detail in Afghanistan. Julie Noce reports. ( Transcript )