A bomb that resembled a toy has killed at least six children and wounded another two in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday (25 June), an official has said.

The children were playing alongside a road in Sararogha area, in the province of South Waziristan, when they found the explosive device, Mohammad Shoaib Khan, a government official, was quoted by AP as saying. He added the two wounded children were in critical condition.

A local government official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said the children were aged "between six to 12 years" and they were "all boys".

The incident occurred one day after two other children were killed after stepping on a land mine in the Spin Toot area.

Dozens of children in Pakistan – particularly in the country's northwest – have died in the past after they picked up seemingly harmless toys that then exploded in their hands and face.

In 2015, a father and two of his children were killed in Swat, an area in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province , after bringing home a bomb concealed as a toy they had found on the street, local media said.

The previous year, two children were killed when a toy bomb exploded in Landi kotal Tehsil, in the tribal area of Khyber Agency.

The origins of the "toy" bomb that exploded on Sunday are not clear. South Waziristan harboured the Pakistani Taliban, a Sunni Islam militant organisation, until 2009, when the army launched a majour offensive retaking some areas previously controlled by the terrorists.

However, the Taliban still carries out attacks in the country. In one of its deadliest raids in recent years, the group killed at least 141 people – including 132 children, when it stormed a school in Peshawar,capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in 2014.

In response to the attack, Pakistan announced it would lift a six-year-moratorium on the death penalty in order to curb terrorism in the country, in a move condemned by rights groups.