Bomb kills five police in northwest Pakistan

A roadside bomb hit a police patrol in Pakistan's troubled northwest on Monday killing five officers, police said.

The incident took place during a routine patrol in the remote mountainous Shangla district, 230 kilometres (143 miles) northeast of Peshawar, the main town of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

"It was an IED which hit their vehicle. All the five policemen died on the spot," district police chief Mohammad Hussain told AFP by telephone.

Police official Arif Khan said the high intensity bomb destroyed the van the officers were in and killed them.

"Some of the dead bodies are badly mutilated," Khan told AFP, adding that one senior police officer was among the dead.

Pakistan's interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso strongly condemned the attack and ordered the authorities to "report the findings that led to the tragic incident", his media office said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Pakistani Taliban have frequently targeted security forces with bomb and gun attacks as part of a five-year insurgency concentrated in the northwest.