September 30, 2008 / 9:20 PM / 9 years ago

U.S. drone strike kills five in Pakistan

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (Reuters) - A U.S. pilotless drone fired two missiles at a house in northwest Pakistan killing five people, Pakistani intelligence agency officials said on Wednesday.

Frustrated by an intensifying Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, U.S. forces have in the past month carried out seven missile strikes by pilotless drones and a commando raid on the Pakistani side of the border.

In the latest attack, a drone fired two missiles at a house near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, at about midnight on Tuesday (7 p.m. British time, two intelligence agency officials said.

The area is a known sanctuary for Pakistani Taliban and foreign militants near the Afghan border.

“We have reports of five dead including foreign militants,” said one of the officers, who declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

He said he had no more information about the casualties.

The U.S. strikes into Pakistan, in particular the September 3 raid by ground troops, have angered Pakistan, straining ties between the allies and leading to tension along the border which Pakistani forces have vowed to defend.

The government says the strikes are an infringement of Pakistani sovereignty.

U.S. commanders have spoken of respect for Pakistan’s sovereignty but have suggested they will not stop cross-border strikes on militants.

Reporting by Haji Mujtaba and Alamgir Bitani; Writing by Robert Birsel

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