Karim Kut is located east of Wana, the provincial capital. No one claimed responsibility for Thursday's killings, but immediate suspicion fell on Muslim fighters, who have killed nearly 80 pro-government tribesmen and officials since Pakistan began supporting the United States in the "war on terror" after the 11 September 2001 attacks.

Although no official or army spokesman was immediately available to give details, residents in Wana identified the slain official as Inyat Ullah, who worked at the office of the top Pakistan government official in the region.

Also on Thursday, people in the South Waziristan town of Angore Adda found the body of a man whose throat had been slit.

Although no one claimed responsibility, Muslim fighters have been blamed for beheading people accused of spying on them in the region, which has been the scene of several military operations against Taliban, al-Qaida and their local supporters in recent years.

Pakistan has deployed about 80,000 troops and tribal policemen in the tribal regions, where the military has killed hundreds of terror suspects and captured scores of others.