A bomb has ripped through a bus carrying government employees to work in the Pakistan city of Peshawar, police said. Several kilos of explosives were reportedly planted near the bus's gas cylinder.
At least 16 people were killed and scores more wounded in the bus bombing during rush hour on Wednesday, authorities in Peshawar said.
Most of the casualties were government employees on their way to work.
"It's premature to comment about the nature of the blast but it appears that explosives were planted inside the bus," senior police official Mohammad Kashif said.
"There were 40-50 people on the bus," he added.
According to bomb disposal officers, the bomb was equipped with at least four kilos (8.8 pounds) of explosive and placed near the vehicle's gas cylinder to amplify the effect.
Peshawar in crosshairs
The device was activated in the busy shopping district of Saddar. Following the blast, rescuers took at least 35 people to the main hospital in Peshawar. Many of the wounded are still in critical condition and the death toll is expected to rise.
"Emergency has been declared and all doctors have been called in to handle trauma," the hospital's spokesman Jamil Shah said.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the presumed terror attack. However, the Taliban and their allies have targeted the region in the past, as Peshawar is located in the volatile border area near Afghanistan.
Last week, a suicide bomber attacked a court in Shabqadar, near Peshawar, killing 17 people.
Darko Janjevic (AFP, dpa, AP, Reuters)