US drone strike hits Pakistan tribal district

Four armed men killed in strike in area of North Waziristan suspected to be stronghold of Taliban.

    A suspected US drone has strike killed at least four armed men in Pakistan's tribal belt near the Afghan border, security officials say.

    The drone attack on Tuesday took place in the village of Datta Khel, about 40km west of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district, an area known as a stronghold for Taliban.

    The village of Datta Khel has been previously attacked at least six times in September and October by Pakistani military air strikes.

    "A US drone fired two missiles hitting a vehicle and a house that killed four militants while two other were injured," a security official told AFP news agency.

    Another official confirmed the incident, saying identities of the dead could not be ascertained.

    Pakistan's foreign ministry condemned the drone strike in a statement issued to the media, a regular reaction to such attacks, which have been targeting anti-government fighters in the tribal areas since 2004. The US does not officially confirm or deny its role in the drone strikes as a matter of policy.

    "Pakistan considers such strikes a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, especially at a time when our authorities are engaged in taking decisive action against terrorist elements in North Waziristan Agency," the statement said.

    Wagah involvement

    Also on Tuesday, 13 other fighters were killed in air strikes by Pakistani forces in Khyber tribal district. The men were believed to have been involved in a recent attack near the India-Pakistan border that killed 55 people.

    "Strikes were carried out on intelligence about the presence of terrorists involved in Wagah border suicide attack," the statement said.

    A suicide bomber struck at the Wagah border crossing near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on November 2 in one of the deadliest such attacks to hit Pakistan for more than a year.



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