The blast left a huge crater in the road outside the embassy, destroyed nearby vehicles and badly damaged the office of a UN-funded development group. A perimeter wall of the embassy collapsed and its metal gate was blown inward, but the embassy building itself remained standing, though its windows were shattered. Several diplomatic buildings and homes also were damaged.
"Pieces of windows, doors and glass hit me, but thank God I didn't get any injuries," said Rizwan Sheikh, a planning specialist for the UN-funded Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment.
"Outside the building it was a doomsday scene. Everybody was running helter-skelter. I saw people crying. I saw blood. I saw human body parts."
The six dead included two Pakistani policemen, as well as a cleaner and a handyman employed by the embassy. At least 35 people were wounded, officials said. Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said one of the dead may have held a Danish passport, but he did not elaborate.
A Brazilian woman who worked at the Danish embassy was among the wounded. Her injuries were not serious, Brazil's foreign ministry said.
It was the second targeting of foreigners in the Pakistani capital in less than three months.
The Norwegian and Swedish governments immediately closed their embassies in the wake of the blast, which damaged the homes of the Dutch ambassador, the Australian defense attache and the Indian ambassador. No one was injured.
The US Embassy urged Americans to use extra caution when traveling through Islamabad and to avoid the blast site. Officials from UN agencies were to meet Tuesday about possibly sending people home.
Pakistan's border regions are considered havens for al-Qaida and Taliban-linked militants believed behind attacks on US forces in neighboring Afghanistan and a series of blasts in Pakistan in the past year.