More than 60 US drone attacks have been reported in the Pakistan this year [Getty Images]

A suspected US drone strike targeting a compound used by armed groups has killed at least six fighters in Pakistan's tribal region near the Afghan border, security officials said.

The strike took place on Tuesday in Miranshah Bazaar, an area in the town of Miranshah in North Waziristan which is known as a strong bastion of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked armed groups.

"At least six militants were killed when a US drone fired two missiles on a rebel compound in the bazaar," a security official told AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

Other security officials told The Associated Press that the death toll was seven.

He said thick smoke could be seen coming out of the compound after the strike, adding the identities of those killed could not be immediately verified.

The US has not publicly acknowledged its use of drones against purported al-Qaeda and Taliban targets on the Pakistani side of the border, although use of the weapons has increased markedly under US President Barack Obama with more than 60 attacks reported in the country so far this year, according to AFP.

Drone attacks are deeply unpopular among many Pakistanis and have strained relations between the US and Pakistan, with relations at their worst since US special forces killed Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, in a secret raid in a Pakistani garrison town in May.

Visiting Islamabad last month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Pakistan to take action within "days and weeks" on dismantling Afghan armed groups' havens and encouraging the Taliban into peace talks.

Source: Agencies