Police: Bomb blast kills 6 in NW Pakistan

A bomb exploded at a bus stand in northwest Pakistan early Sunday, killing six people in the latest violence to hit the country since the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The attack also followed reports that another top al-Qaida operative, Ilyas Kashmiri, had been killed in a recent American missile strike along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

The blast occurred at a bazaar in the Matani area, around 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of the main northwest city of Peshawar.

At least 10 people were wounded. Many of the dead and injured were in a pickup truck near the bus stand, police official Abdul Ghaffar Khan said.

TV footage showed the twisted truck and other damaged vehicles scattered at the scene, while rescue workers rushed away the wounded. Officials weren't immediately certain if the bomb was a planted device, or if a suicide attacker was involved.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault, but since the May 2 raid that killed bin Laden in a garrison town elsewhere in Pakistan's northwest, the Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for several other attacks.

The bloodshed has included a twin suicide bombing that killed 80 people at a paramilitary police training facility, and a 17-hour siege of a naval base.

On Saturday, a Pakistani intelligence official said Kashmiri, an al-Qaida leader sought in the 2008 Mumbai siege and rumored to be a longshot choice to succeed bin Laden was believed killed in a U.S. drone attack.

The purported death of Kashmiri — who also was accused of killing many Pakistanis — could help soothe US-Pakistan ties that nearly unraveled after bin Laden's death.

While it was unclear how Kashmiri was tracked, his name was on a list of militants that both countries recently agreed to jointly target as part of measures to restore trust, officials have said.

Senior U.S. officials in Washington, Islamabad and the Afghan capital, Kabul, said they could not confirm that Kashmiri was killed. Other Pakistani officials also said they couldn't confirm it.

A fax purportedly sent by the militant group Kashmiri was heading — Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami's feared "313 Brigade" — confirmed Kashmiri was "martyred" in Friday's 11:15 p.m. strike.

The fax was sent to journalists in Peshawar, and its authenticity could not be independently confirmed. The group, which has not previously communicated with the media, promised revenge against America in the handwritten statement on a white page bearing its name of the group.

The 47-year-old Kashmiri has been described by American officials as al-Qaida's military operations chief in Pakistan. He was one of five most-wanted militant leaders in the country, but it was unclear how he may have been tracked.

The U.S. and Pakistani officials speaking about Kashmiri all requested anonymity because of department policy and the sensitivity of the subject.

Verifying who has been killed in the drone strikes is difficult, with DNA samples or photographic evidence typically needed. Initial reports have turned out to be wrong in the past, including one in September 2009 that said Kashmiri had been killed. Sometimes they are never formally denied or confirmed in Pakistan or in the United States.