MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (Reuters) - U.S. drone aircraft struck a militant hideout in northwest Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan on Monday, killing at least 12 suspected militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
The drones fired several missiles at a compound in the Shawal area of the North Waziristan tribal region. Two suspected militants were wounded in the strike, officials added.
Shawal is a remote area of forested ridges and valleys that spreads out on both sides of the border and has long been known as a haven for militants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and beyond.
The controversial drone program, a key element in U.S. counter-terrorism efforts, is highly unpopular in Pakistan where it is considered a violation of sovereignty which causes unacceptable civilian casualties.
The United States has given no indication it intends to halt the campaign, and the administration of President Barack Obama has said the use of the remotely piloted aircraft is legal under international law.
Reporting by Haji Mujtaba; Additional reporting by Saud Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan, Ali Afzaal in Parachinar, and Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar; Writing by Qasim Nauman; Editing by Michael Roddy