Five killed in U.S. missile attack in Pakistan

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:27pm EDT

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (Reuters) - Suspected U.S. drones fired two missile on Saturday into a Pakistani region regarded as an al Qaeda and Taliban safe haven, killing at least five militants, residents and an intelligence official said.

It was the second such attack in North Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border this week.

"The missiles were fired with a gap of a minute," a Reuters witness said from Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan. "They caused huge blasts. I saw flames rising toward the sky after the explosions."

An intelligence official said five militants were killed in the attack on a house in a shanty neighborhood known as Machis Colony. There were foreigners also among those killed and their number and nationality had not yet been ascertained, he said.

"The mud-walled house has long been used by the guests as their abode," he said, referring to the term used for the militants in the tribal areas.

Residents said the drones had been flying over Miranshah for hours and tribesmen also fired shots in the air before they struck.

The Pentagon had no comment on the report.

Six people, including three Arab fighters linked to al Qaeda, were killed in a similar attack near Miranshah on Thursday night.

Since the start of September the United States has carried out at least ten missile attacks and a commando raid on militant targets in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Pakistan has condemned these attacks and a Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman earlier on Saturday said these strikes would neither be helpful for Pakistan nor for the United States.

"Such strikes will fuel anti-American sentiments which will neither be beneficial for us nor for the United States," the spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said.

(Additional reporting by Alamgir Bitani, writing by Zeeshan Haider; editing by Sami Aboudi)

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