Suspected US drone strike hits compound in Pakistan

The attack was the second in a 24-hour span targeting alleged militants in the troubled region of North Waziristan

U.S. drones are deeply unpopular in Pakistan
Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

A suspected U.S. drone strike targeting an alleged militant compound killed three people in a troubled Pakistan tribal region near the Afghan border Monday, officials said.

The attack took place in the Boya region of North Waziristan, which is believed to be the stronghold of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group and both foreign and local militants. Bahadur, a local warlord, is allied with the Afghan Taliban fighting U.S.-led troops across the border.

It was the second strike in less than 24 hours in a violent area with a long history of U.S. drone strikes and militant activity. At least three alleged militants were killed Sunday in a drone attack on the Dargamandi area in North Waziristan, also known as a bastion of Taliban and al-Qaeda linked militants.

"A U.S. drone fired two missiles on a militant compound, killing three rebels," a senior security official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

Another security official confirmed the strike and casualties but said the identities of those killed were not immediately known.

U.S. drone attacks are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, but Washington sees them as a vital tool in the fight against militants in the lawless tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government has repeatedly protested against drone strikes as a violation of its sovereignty.

On Friday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a speech before the U.N. General Assembly in New York, called U.S. drone strikes "a continued violation of our territorial integrity." "The war against terrorism must be waged within the framework of international law," Sharif said.

According to data kept by the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, there have been over 300 attacks in Pakistan since 2009, killing over 2,000 people.

Al Jazeera and AFP

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