MIRANSHAH: A US drone killed at least four militants in a missile strike yesterday targeting a compound in northwest Pakistan’s tribal belt, local security officials said.
The attack took place in the village of Heso Khel around 35 kilometres (21 miles) east of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan which is a notorious stronghold of Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants.
“At least four militants have been killed and the compound has been completely destroyed,” a local security official in Miranshah said.
A second security official in Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, confirmed the attack but said the death toll may rise.
US drone attacks are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, but Washington views them as a vital tool in the fight against Taliban and Al Qaeda militants in the lawless tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.
The Pakistani government has repeatedly protested against drone strikes as a violation of its sovereignty and there has been a decrease in their use.
During a visit to Islamabad at the start of August, US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that drone strikes targeting Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan could end “very soon” as the threat of militancy recedes.