Suspected U.S. Airstrike Kills 7 in Pakistan

A suspected U.S. missile strike killed at least seven people Monday in volatile northwest Pakistan, intelligence officials and a witness said.

Yar Mohammad, a villager, said a fortlike house was destroyed and that local Taliban pulled out seven bodies while cordoning off the scene in the Kari Khel area, about 10 miles south of Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border.

Mohammad said he heard a drone aircraft circling the area before the attack at 8:40 a.m. (0340 GMT). Two intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media, confirmed the strike and casualties.

The U.S. has carried out a series of more than 30 missile strikes since August in Pakistan's lawless, semiautonomous tribal areas, targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban militants blamed for attacks in Afghanistan. While the missile strikes have killed scores of militants, Pakistani officials have criticized them as an infringement of its sovereignty and say they undermine their own war on terror.

Most of the missiles are believed to have been launched from unmanned spy planes that take off from Afghanistan. Washington rarely confirms or denies the attacks.