By Hafiz Wazir
WANA, Pakistan (Reuters) - A U.S. drone strike in northwest Pakistan killed at least five suspected militants on Thursday, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
The strike, the second so far this year, targeted a compound of suspected militants in the Tehsil Ladha area of South Waziristan, a remote region bordering Afghanistan, the officials said.
Pakistan often protests that U.S. drone strikes infringe its national sovereignty. But many Pakistanis suspect their government and military give at least tacit approval for the attacks, which have killed many senior Pakistani Taliban commanders.
The drone strikes stopped for the first half of last year while the Pakistani government explored peace talks with the Taliban. They resumed a few days before the Pakistani military launched an anti-Taliban offensive in June.
Drone strikes in Pakistan are gradually decreasing from a high in 2010, when there were 128. U.S. officials almost never publicly comment on them.
Last year, 25 such attacks in Pakistan killed up to 186 people, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which tracks drone strikes using media reports. Two civilians were reported to be among the dead.
(Additional reporting by Saud Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)