A US drone strike on a compound has killed at least ten people in northwest Pakistan’s tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said.
“The drone fired two missiles on a house in Hassokhel town,” 25km east of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, a security official said on Thursday, a day after a similar attack killed four people in the same region.
North Waziristan is a stronghold of the Haqqani network – Afghan fighters blamed for a series of spectacular attacks on Western targets in Kabul – and Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud.
Islamabad has been resisting US pressure to launch a sweeping offensive against fighters in the area.
Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt the main hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.
The attack was likely to raise tensions in a standoff with Washington over NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.
The United States has been pushing Pakistan to re-open the supply routes in difficult talks that show no signs of a breakthrough anytime soon.
Pakistan closed the routes in protest against last November’s killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO air attack along the Afghan border.
US frustrations with Pakistan deepened on Wednesday after a Pakistani tribal court sentenced a doctor accused of helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden to 33 years in jail on charges of treason.