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Page last updated at 23:18 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 00:18 UK

Missile 'strikes Pakistan house'

Bajaur map

About 12 people have died in a suspected missile strike on a house in north-west Pakistan, residents and security sources say.

Local sources told the BBC two missiles were fired by a suspected US drone aircraft at Islamic militants inside the home near the village of Damadola.

The strike was in the Bajaur tribal area close to Afghanistan.

Unmanned American drones have targeted a number of suspected al-Qaeda and Taleban targets in the area this year.

A US Predator drone apparently targeted al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Damadola in January 2006, but missed him.

The BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad was told by local sources that about 30 people had gathered for a formal dinner near the same village, targeted on Wednesday.

The sources told our correspondent that unmanned US aircraft had been patrolling the skies since early morning.

Neither Pakistan nor the US confirm American air strikes, which are condemned in the country as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty.

Our correspondent says since the beginning of the year there has been an increase in US missile attacks in the tribal areas, apparently as part of a US agreement with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf.

But the country's newly elected government has asked the US to stop striking within its territory to aid its policy of negotiating with pro-Taleban militants, she says.


SEE ALSO
'Zawahiri' strike sparks protest
14 Jan 06 |  South Asia
Zawahiri 'not hit by US missile'
14 Jan 06 |  South Asia
Pakistan rally against US strike
15 Jan 06 |  South Asia

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