Suspected US drone strike kills 4 militants in Pakistan, Islamabad officials say

A suspected U.S. drone strike targeting a militant hideout in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border killed four men on Wednesday, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The missiles hit a vehicle and a compound in the town of Dandey Darpakhel in North Waziristan, said the two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to media.

The strike was the third in the past two weeks since U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan resumed after a six month break.

North Waziristan is home to a mix of local and foreign Al Qaeda-linked militant groups, who also use the area as a safe haven to stage attacks against American and other NATO troops across the border in Afghanistan.

Washington has for years relied on the C.I.A run drone program to take out the militants in the lawless tribal area.

Pakistan's military this week launched a long awaited offensive against militants in the region, which Washington insisted on for years.

The offensive marks the end of the government's policy of trying to negotiate with the Pakistani Taliban instead of using force to end years of fighting, which has killed tens of thousands of civilians and security forces. The operation so far has killed over 150 local and foreign militants and six soldiers.