Peshawar: Six children from the same family were killed and one injured on Sunday while playing with a hand grenade in northwest Pakistan, officials said.

The children, aged five to 12, were playing near their house in the town of Hangu when the grenade exploded, local police official Hussain Badshah told AFP.

“Five boys and one girl were killed in the blast. One other child was injured,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, the district police chief.

Syed Ahmad Jan, a senior local administration official, added: “The children were playing with a hand grenade they found on nearby open ground.”

Badshah said the girl and three of the boys were siblings, while the two other boys were their cousins.

The family had migrated from the neighbouring Orakzai tribal agency where the military is battling the Taliban.

Hangu itself is regularly targeted by militants. A Pakistani schoolboy from a nearby village sacrificed his life to stop a suicide bomber, saving the lives of his classmates earlier this month.

The Pakistani Taliban have since 2007 waged a war against the state, intended to force the government to scrap its alliance with the US and to impose the militants’ brand of Sharia.