Pakistani policeman killed in Peshawar blast

A policeman was killed Monday and another wounded when a powerful roadside bomb tore through their vehicle in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, officials said.

It is the sixth deadly bombing to hit the troubled city in a month, as fears grow that Taliban militants are extracting revenge for a punishing six-week military offensive against them in three northwest districts.

Senior police officer Abdul Ghafoor Afridi said Monday's blast hit as the police vehicle was travelling on the outskirts of the city near a graveyard.

"The van driver was killed and a police official was injured," he told AFP.

City police chief Sifat Ghayur confirmed the blast was a roadside bomb and said they had detained six students from a religious school for questioning.

Witnesses said the police van was badly damaged in the blast and described people fleeing the scene as tear gas canisters in the vehicle exploded.

The blast created a three-foot one-metre deep crater, Peshawar bomb disposal expert Shafqat Malik said.

"It carried about 40 to 50 kilograms 88 to 110 pounds of explosives, so it was a powerful bomb," he added.

Recent bomb blasts in Pakistan have been widely seen as retribution by Islamist extremists for the military offensive launched late April after Taliban militants advanced towards Islamabad.

Fifteen people were killed in a succession of suicide blasts in Peshawar and a nearby town on May 29, while the culture capital Lahore and Islamabad have also suffered attacks.

A young sea turtle is seen on Runduma island, Wakatobi. AFP/File/Adek Berry