November 18, 2009 / 8:47 PM / 9 years ago

Suspected U.S. drone kills 4 in Pakistan-officials

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 19 (Reuters) - A suspected U.S. drone aircraft fired two missiles into a northwestern Pakistani militant stronghold on Wednesday killing four people, Pakistani security officials said.

The United States has carried out more than 40 attacks with its pilotless, missile-firing aircraft in northwest Pakistan this year as it forces in neighbouring Afghanistan have faced an intensifying Taliban insurgency.

The late night attack was in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, 20 km (12 miles) west of the town of Miranshah, the intelligence agency and paramilitary force officials said.

The identities of the four people killed and six people wounded was not known, said the officials, who declined to be identified. North Waziristan is a stronghold of Taliban militants and their al Qaeda allies.

The Pakistani army has been battling militants in the neighbouring South Waziristan region since last month.

Pakistan officially objects to the U.S. drone strikes, saying they violate its sovereignty.

U.S. officials say the strikes are carried out under an agreement with Islamabad that allows Pakistani leaders to decry the attacks in public.

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