- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2009

MIR ALI, Pakistan | Missiles fired from a reported U.S. drone killed at least eight suspected militants Friday in Pakistan’s lawless tribal area along the Afghan border, intelligence officials said. It was the fourth such attack since the Pakistani military began an offensive in a nearby area in mid-October.

A drone fired two missiles at a compound being used by suspected Taliban militants in a village near Mir Ali in North Waziristan, according to two intelligence officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information.

The compound was destroyed and eight bodies were pulled from the rubble, the officials said, adding that two other suspected militants were wounded.

Ahmed Nawaz Dawar, a local tribesman, said Taliban militants buried those killed and took the wounded to a hospital.

U.S. officials rarely discuss the unpopular missile strikes and the reports could not immediately be confirmed.

Anti-American sentiment is pervasive throughout Pakistan. The Pakistani government publicly condemns the U.S. strikes as violations of its sovereignty, but many analysts believe the two countries have a secret deal allowing them.

Militants are believed to have fled to North Waziristan to escape the Pakistani offensive under way in South Waziristan. The army has retaken many towns in the region, but the militants say they avoided fighting and will now begin a guerrilla campaign.

The United States has welcomed the offensive, but wants the army to do more against the insurgents in the border area blamed for violence across the border in Afghanistan.

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