Suspected U.S. missile strike in Pakistan

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan Mon Dec 7, 2009 9:34pm EST

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MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (Reuters) - A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles into an al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuary in a Pakistani region the Afghan border on Tuesday, killing at least three militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The strike in the North Waziristan region was the first since U.S. President Barack Obama's speech last week outlining plans to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

Obama said Pakistan must not allow its territory to be used as a sanctuary for militants.

"One of the missiles hit a vehicle and all three militants in it were killed," an intelligence official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The strike took place in Spalga, a village 15 km (10 miles) east of North Waziristan's main town of Miranshah.

The U.S. drones have carried out scores of missile strikes in Pakistan over the past year.

In neighboring South Waziristan, the Pakistan army has launched a major offensive against the militants in mid-October.

Pakistan officially objects to the U.S. strikes saying they

are a violation of its sovereignty and they stoke public anger, bolstering Islamist support.

Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a similar U.S. strike in August.

(Reporting by Haji Mujtaba; Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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