Chronic violence has disrupted the normal flow of life in northwestern Pakistan[Reuters]

Successive blasts targeting police in northwestern Pakistan have killed four policemen and a child, and injured another 30, officials said.

In the first blast, a remote-controlled explosive device detonated in the Lahori Gate area in the city of Peshawar early on Thursday near a van carrying 20 police constables, on their way to begin their shift.

"At least four policemen and a schoolchild have been killed in the attack,"said Muhammad Faisal, a senior police official in the area.

He said that 18 other police officers had been injured.

Local police officials said that the device was hidden in a handcart parked at the roadside.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said the second incident occurred about an hour later, after a crowd had started convening at the site of the bombing.

 

Two female suicide bombers approached the site of the blast, tossing a grenade toward officers and partially detonating a suicide vest, according to police. The woman with the vest appeared to be just 16 or 17-years-old.

"But because part of her explosive did not go off, the casualties were low [in the second attack]," Hyder said.

"We have seen this tactic in the past. That when people gather at the first explosion site, another happens, taking more lives. Pakistani forces have been bearing the brunt of this violence."

No one has taken responsibility for the attacks as of yet.

Northwest Pakistan suffers from chronic insecurity, largely connected to the semi-autonomous tribal belt near Afghanistan, which is considered a haven for the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other armed groups.

More than 4,500 people have been killed in suicide attacks and bomb explosions, many of them carried out by the Taliban and other al-Qaeda-linked groups, in Pakistan during the last four years.

Source: Agencies