Pakistan explosion kills six

An injured child is carried away after an explosion at an auto repair shop in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Mohammad Sajjad / Associated Press / January 23, 2014)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- At least six people were killed and nine injured Thursday in the suburbs of Peshawar when a bomb exploded in a vehicle at an auto workshop.

Police officials said a white Suzuki Alto was parked inside the auto workshop near the Chowk area when it exploded.

A police official said that bomb disposal experts estimated that about 60 pounds of explosive material was fitted inside the car when it exploded.

Private TV news channels showed several vehicles destroyed in the explosion as rescue workers and police officers searched through the rubble for the injured and the dead.

The officials did not refute the possibility that the car was being fitted at the auto shop with an improvised explosive device that might have exploded prematurely. Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Paktunkhwa province, which is riddled with anti-government insurgents.

However, investigators said it also was possible that the auto workshop was the target.

The injured were taken to a nearby hospital. Hospital sources said six dead were brought to the facility.

A spokesman for the hospital said two of the injured were in critical condition.

There has been a surge in acts of terrorism across Pakistan in recent weeks but no militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest explosion.

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Ali is a special correspondent.