PESHAWAR: Drones Wednesday fired missiles at a compound and vehicle and killed at least eight militants in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.
The attack happened in the border village of Lawara Mandi, 60 kilometres west of Miranshah.
"Drones fired two missiles each at a compound and a vehicle and at least eight militants were killed," a senior security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"There are two Uzbeks among the dead militants identified so far," the official said, adding that the vehicle was near the compound when missiles hit it.
Security officials in the neighbouring garrison town of Bannu and Miranshah confirmed the drone attack and casualties and said it happened at around 3:30am on Wednesday.
The assault by the military was launched in mid-June after a dramatic attack by militants on Karachi airport, which killed dozens of people and marked the end of a faltering peace process with the Pakistani Taliban.
More than 1,000 militants and 86 soldiers have been killed in the assault so far, according to the military. The area is off-limits to journalists, making it impossible to verify the number and identity the dead independently.
Pakistan routinely protests against drone strikes, which have been targeting militants in the tribal areas since 2004, saying they violate its sovereignty and are counterproductive in the fight against terror.
But most analysts believe the resumption of the drone programme after it was suspended -- reportedly to give Pakistan space for negotiations with the Taliban -- is evidence of collusion between the two countries.
The government and military officials strongly deny this.
The assault has forced more than 800,000 people to flee North Waziristan, with most ending up in the nearby town of Bannu.
There have been fears that many top militants also fled, including fighters from the feared Haqqani network which is blamed for numerous bloody attacks in Afghanistan.
Pakistan condemns US drone strike
Pakistan condemned Wednesday's drone strike in Datta Khel, saying there is no need for such action during the ongoing operation in North Waziristan.
“Pakistan regards such strikes as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The ministry urged a cessation to drone strikes in the country, saying “The Government of Pakistan also believes that with decisive action being taken against terrorist elements in North Waziristan, there is no need for such strikes.”
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