(AFP) – Jan 18, 2011
MIRANSHAH, Pakistan — A US drone attacked a compound in northwest Pakistan's tribal area on Tuesday, killing five militants, security officials said.
"A US drone fired two missiles at a militant compound in Dashgah village killing at least five militants," a senior Pakistani security official told AFP.
"We are trying to ascertain the nationality of the militants killed in the attack.
Dashgah is around 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal district, which borders Afghanistan.
A security official and an intelligence official in Peshawar, the capital of the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, confirmed the attack and the death toll.
Washington says wiping out the militant threat in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt is vital to winning the nine-year war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and defeating Al-Qaeda.
Militant networks in North Waziristan are accused of escalating the nine-year war in Afghanistan and US officials want Pakistan to launch a ground offensive in the district to limit the Islamist threat.
The United States does not confirm drone attacks, but its military and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy the unmanned aircraft in the region.
In 2010 the campaign doubled missile attacks in the tribal area with around 100 drone strikes killing more than 650 people, according to an AFP tally.
Pakistan tacitly cooperates with the bombing campaign, which US officials say has severely weakened Al-Qaeda's leadership, but has stalled on launching a ground offensive in North Waziristan, saying its troops are overstretched.
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