18 killed in northwest Pakistan blast: police

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A Muhammad

Peshawar, Jan 17 (PTI) A powerful blast in a buskilled at least 18 people and injured nine others in northwestPakistan today though the cause of the explosion could notimmediately be determined, police said.

The blast, which destroyed the bus, occurred at AlizaiJozara near Hangu, a key city in Khyber-Pakhtunnkhwa province.

The minibus was heading to Kohat, another city locatedclose to the restive tribal belt.

District police chief Abdur Rashid told PTI the blastwas apparently caused by the explosion of gas cylinders.

He did not rule out the possibility of terror attackand said a bomb disposal squad had been called in toinvestigate the incident.

"A bomber might have been present in the bus," anotherpolice official said.

Reports said the explosion apparently occurred afterthe bus collided with a pick-up truck though this could not beindependently confirmed.

The injured were taken to a hospital in Hangu.

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