Six persons were killed and 24 others injured in a bomb blast aimed at targeting a provincial lawmaker in the northwestern Pakistani city of Dera Ismail Khan on Monday.
Police officials said initial reports suggested that the explosive device, believed to have been hidden in an auto-rickshaw, was meant to target Khalifa Abdul Qayyum, a member of the assembly of North West Frontier Province.
The bomb went off in a busy area located a short distance from the town hall and a hospital. The explosion occurred shortly after Qayyum has passed through the area. Qayyum's guards, who were travelling in another car, were injured.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Pakistani Taliban militants operating in the area are usually blamed for such attacks in Dera Ismail Khan.
Doctors at a local hospital said six of the injured were in a critical condition. Police said about seven kilograms of explosives were used in the blast.
Authorities ordered the closure of all schools and colleges in the area after the blast as a precautionary measure aimed at averting any disturbance.
Dera Ismail Khan, a major city in the NWFP, has witnessed suicide attacks on security forces in recent months. The city has also been rocked by sectarian tensions.
The city is located near the South Waziristan tribal region and Bannu and Tank districts, where the local Taliban have a presence.