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US drone strike kills five militants in NW Pakistan


A US drone attack on a militant compound in a restive Pakistani tribal area on Tuesday killed at least five militants, security officials said.

The drone strike took place in Lawra Mandi area in the North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan, where the Pakistani military is battling Taliban militants.

"A militant compound was targeted by firing two missiles killing five militants," a senior Pakistani security official told AFP. The official said the identities of the militants could not be immediately confirmed.

Another security official in the northwestern city of Peshawar confirmed the attack and casualties.

North Waziristan is one of seven semi-autonomous tribal districts that border Afghanistan. It has been a hub for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants since the early 2000s.

The area is generally off-limits to journalists, making it difficult to independently verify the number and identity of the dead.

Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out militant sanctuaries in North Waziristan, which groups have used to launch attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan began a long-awaited push to clear insurgent bases from North Waziristan last June after a bloody Taliban attack on Karachi airport sank faltering peace talks.

The army has intensified its offensive since the Taliban’s massacre of 153 people, mostly children, in a school in Peshawar in December.