ISLAMABAD (AP) — Two suspected U.S. drone strikes on Taliban compounds in a Pakistani tribal region bordering Afghanistan on Tuesday killed at least 10 militants, officials said.
The missiles strikes were just hours apart in the North Waziristan tribal region close to the Afghan border bring the number of such strikes to three within 24 hours.
The latest strike hit a compound used by militants in Kundser village of Datta Khel area in the afternoon killing four militants, said two intelligence officials. The compound hit in Kundser was located closer to Afghan border then the earlier one, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media
Earlier in the day, missiles fired from the drone hit the compound of a suspected Taliban commander in the village of Kund Ghar in Shawal area of the region. Officials said six militants were killed and five others were wounded in the strike.
Drone fired missiles also struck a compound in Mangrothi village in Shawal area, killing four militants late Monday. Shawal, a mountainous area with thick forests is an area where many militants are thought to be hiding, the official said.
The military launched a major offensive in June in North Waziristan, a rugged tribal area that has long been home to local and foreign militants, including al-Qaida. Officials said the targeted militants had fled to Shawal from other parts of the region.
The U.S. has long pressed Pakistan to do more to combat militants in the tribal regions, who carry out attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kabul and Islamabad have long accused each other of turning a blind eye to militant groups operating along the rugged, porous border.
U.S. drone strikes are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, where they are seen as a violation of national sovereignty that too often results in the killing and wounding of civilians.
President Barack Obama has defended the use of drone strikes as a way to target militants who threaten the United States from areas where local governments cannot or will not act against them. U.S. officials rarely comment on the specifics of the covert drone program.