A roadside bomb killed 15 passengers in a van and wounded 12 others in north-west Pakistan near the Afghan border on Sunday, police said.

Officials said they did not know who set off the bomb, but such attacks are common in the country’s remote tribal regions, where militants from both Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan are active.

The vehicle was hit in the Jandol area when it was taking people from a border village to the town of Munda early in the morning, said Ejaz Abid, police chief in Lower Dir district where the attack took place.

Local government official Mahmood Aslam said two children were among the dead. He said that the vehicle was not carrying any tribal elders, militia commanders, or others from the area frequently targeted by militants. “I don’t understand why the passenger vehicle was targeted,” he said.

Dilawar Khan, a survivor, said he heard a huge blast, and the passengers suddenly dived to the ground.

“There was a big bang and we all were lying here and there ... I was listening to people’s cries but unable to see anything as dust and smoke engulfed the air ... Then I found myself in the hospital with my leg and hand bandaged,” said Mr Khan.

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