AP reports a suicide bomber on a motorbike rammed into a minibus carrying security personnel, detonating a blast Monday that killed at least six people and wounded more than 30 in the latest attack in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi, officials said.
The bus was destroyed during the blast on a road running through a bazaar near the offices of the army's National Logistics Cell, said Bisharat Abbasi, the local police chief.
A military statement said four members of the armed forces had been killed. But it did not mention civilian casualties and a security official told The Associated Press there were at least six fatalities. The Geo news channel reported that 10 people had died.
The bus was carrying doctors and security personnel, said the security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
"It was very powerful," he said, adding that the bomb sent splinters that struck a wall beside him. Police and troops arrived at scene of the attack a few minutes later and transported the dead and injured to hospitals, he said.
In recent months there have been a series of suicide bombings in Rawalpindi, a city where the army has its headquarters, about seven miles from the capital, Islamabad. President Pervez Musharraf also stays in the city, and he was in his office several miles from the scene at the time of the blast.
Prior to that, attacks hit security forces and employees of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, including two suicide bombings against a bus of ISI employees and an army checkpoint on Nov. 24 that killed up to 35 people.
There have been no claims of responsibility for the attacks, but authorities have blamed Taliban militants based near the Afghan border who pose a growing security threat across Pakistan.
The latest attack came just a week after a U.S. missile strike killed a top al-Qaida commander, Abu Laith al-Libi, in a remote tribal village near the border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan and Washington have yet to confirm the death of al-Libi. It was first reported Thursday on Islamic extremist Web sites and confirmed by an American official who said the veteran al-Qaida leader was hit by a missile from a U.S. Predator drone in a village in North Waziristan.
Although it has not confirmed the killing, Pakistan has since stepped up security, apparently to avoid possible retaliatory attacks by militants.
The killing of al-Libi, described by Pakistani intelligence officials as al-Qaida's operational commander in the border region, was a boost for the U.S. in its battle against the terror network after a spate of pessimistic assessments of the coalition's campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan.