Interim Afghan President Hamid Karzai's lead in the election for head of state has dropped slightly but remains on pace for an outright victory.

With more than 80 percent of the vote now counted Mr. Karzai has polled 55 percent of the ballots -- a decrease of about one percent from Friday.

Younus Qanooni has 17 percent and two other candidates -- Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq and Abdul Rashid Dostum -- each have about 11 percent of the vote.

The winner needs to garner 50 percent plus one vote in order to avoid a runoff.

International observers have certified the election as fair, but a U.N. panel is investigating concerns about vote fraud.

The panel's findings and an official vote count are not expected for at least several days.

The Taleban has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in the Afghan capital that wounded at least seven people, including three foreign peacekeepers.

The attack Saturday afternoon occured at a busy Kabul commercial location (Chicken Street) where Westerners often shop. Afghan police say the bomber died after he triggered three blasts using grenades strapped to his body.

The wounded soldiers are part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force that patrols Kabul. One of them is reported to be in serious condition.

Meanwhile, interim President Hamid Karzai's lead in the election for head of state dropped slightly, but remains on pace for an outright victory.

With more than 80 percent of the vote now counted, Mr. Karzai has polled 55 percent of the ballots.

A final, official count is not expected for at least several days.