Madrassa attacked

Darpa Kheil village is home to a large madrassa, or religious school, set up by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former veteran Afghan fighter commander who is also a senior Taliban leader.

US drone aircraft attacked the complex in September last year, killing 23 people, most of them members of Haqqani's family.

Pakistani and US officials believe Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban chief, was killed in a similar strike in neighbouring South Waziristan on August 5.

Pakistan, an ally of the US, which is fighting al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the region, officially objects to US drone attacks on its soil, saying they violate its sovereignty.