A US drone strike on Sunday killed four militants in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region, a hotbed of Taliban insurgents near the Afghan border, officials said.
The drone fired two missiles into a vehicle as it drove through a village near Datta Khel town about 30 kilometres (20 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan district, Pakistani security officials told AFP.
"Four militants were killed in the attack," one official said.
The attack destroyed the vehicle, the officials said, adding that at least two other militants were wounded including one critically.
The identities of the dead were not clear.
Covert CIA drones are the chief US weapon against Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants who use Pakistan's lawless tribal areas as launchpads for attacking US troops in Afghanistan and plotting attacks on the West.
At least 10 militants were killed in two US drone attacks in Waziristan on Thursday, including the brother of a local Taliban commander who was accused of sending fighters across the border to fight in Afghanistan.
Under President Barack Obama, the United States has drastically stepped up drone strikes in Pakistan but refuses to discuss them publicly.
Nearly 60 US drone strikes have been reported in Pakistan so far this year, dozens of them since Navy SEALs killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad, close to the capital Islamabad, on May 2.
Relations between Pakistan and the United States deteriorated after that, and again over accusations that Pakistani intelligence was involved with the Haqqani network, blamed for a siege last month of the US embassy in Kabul.
Around 2,000 Pakistanis staged a demonstration outside the national parliament in Islamabad Friday to demand an end to US drone strikes, claiming they kill more innocent civilians than extremist leaders.
by Marc Lavine
(c) 2011 AFP
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