US drone strike kills at least eight in NW Pakistan

A US drone strike killed at least eight suspected militants in Pakistan`s restive tribal belt on Wednesday, security officials said.

The unmanned aircraft hit a compound in Kund Sar village, 60 kilometres (40 miles) south of Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region which borders Afghanistan. 

"The drone fired two missiles, killing at least eight people and injuring two others," a security official in the area told AFP via phone on condition of anonymity.

"There may be more dead bodies under the rubble," he said.

An intelligence official in the area confirmed the attack and said militants loyal to the warlord Gul Bahadur and the feared Haqqani network operate in the area, as well as foreign Uzbek fighters.

Another security official in Peshawar also confirmed the strike and said the Haqqani network and foreign militants are active in the area.

The strike came a day after Pakistani jet fighters killed 20 suspected members of the Haqqani network, accused of some of the bloodiest attacks in Afghanistan including a blast that left 57 people dead last weekend.

In a similar attack on October 30, a US drone strike killed at least seven militants including an important commander of the Haqqani network in the village of Nargas in South Waziristan.

Security officials at the time said the commander Abdullah Haqqani was responsible for sending suicide bombers to Afghanistan. 

North Waziristan is one of the seven lawless tribal districts that border Afghanistan. It has long been a hub for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.

The area is generally off-limits to journalists, making it difficult to independently verify the number and identity of the dead.

Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out sanctuaries in North Waziristan which militants have used to launch attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani military launched a major offensive in the district in June and say they have killed more than 1,500 militants so far, with 125 soldiers losing their lives.

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