A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a special police branch office, killing a guard and wounding up to three other people in Pakistan's capital late Monday, officials said.
The bomber detonated his explosives at the entrance to the building, used by police intelligence and bomb disposal units, close to the Sitara market in the centre of Islamabad, officials said.
"One guard was killed and two or three wounded. The suicide bomber was killed," interior ministry chief Rehman Malik told Pakistan's private Geo television.
An AFP photographer said he saw one dead body at the scene and pieces of flesh that appeared to be those of a suicide bomber.
Police cordoned off the scene and paramilitary Ranger troops were called in to protect the area, witnesses said.
"It is a terrorist attack, planned by terrorists. It was targeted against police," said Malik.
Police official Mohammad Ilyas told AFP that three wounded people had been evacuated to hospital.
Pakistan, a key US ally, has been hit by around 200 suicide and bomb attacks that have killed more than 1,600 people since government forces fought radical gunmen holed up in a mosque in Islamabad in July 2007.
The attack comes six days after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a restaurant and taxi stand in Pakistan's garrison city of Rawalpindi, killing 14 people and wounding 18 others.
Officials suspect that the bomber in Tuesday's attack intended to target a mass protest which was scheduled in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The protest was called off after the government undertook to reinstate the country's top judge.
Much of the violence in Pakistan has been concentrated in the northwest of the country, where the army has been fighting Taliban hardliners and Al-Qaeda extremists after the 2001 US-led invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan.
Source: AFP Asian Edition