ISLAMABAD – A suspected U.S. drone strike on a Taliban compound in a Pakistani tribal region bordering Afghanistan on Tuesday killed at least six militants, officials said.
Missiles fired from the unmanned drone hit the compound of a suspected Taliban commander in the village of Kund Ghar in the North Waziristan tribal region, two Pakistani intelligence officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media. They said five other militants were wounded in the strike.
It was the second strike in less than 24 hours. In the earlier strike, two missiles struck a compound in Mangrothi village, killing four militants, officials said. Both villages are in Shawal, a mountainous area with thick forests.
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.