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By Saud Mehsud

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Six children were killed in a village in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday when they picked up an explosive device that looked like a toy, officials said.

At least 31 people, including several children, have been left disabled or killed in blasts from improvised explosive devices (IEC) since 2016 in the South Waziristan region, part of Pakistan's troubled tribal areas, senior government official Muhammed Sohaib said.

Muhammed Umer, whose nephew was one of two children wounded, in the blast, said the children were playing when they found something that looked like a toy.

"Four of them died on the spot, one on the way to hospital, and one at the hospital," he said.

Senior government official Muhammed Sohaib said the political administration would provide compensation for the families and take care of the children's medical bills.

On Saturday, two children were killed in a nearby village when they stepped on a landmine while playing in the fields.

Over a million people were displaced from the region after the Pakistan army began battling the Taliban in 2009, according to United Nations figures. Many have returned home this year, often to villages reduced to rubble.

South Waziristan residents often have to travel five to six hours for healthcare and the hospital in district capital Wana is severely ill-equipped.

(Reporting by Saad Sayeed; editing by Susan Thomas)

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