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Page last updated at 06:26 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 07:26 UK

Deadly missile strike in Pakistan

US drone
Pakistan has been critical of the US drone attacks

At least nine people are reported to have been killed in north-west Pakistan in a suspected US missile strike.

One or two missiles targeted a compound in the village of Dande Darpa Khel in the tribal region of North Waziristan, Pakistani officials said.

The village is believed to be frequented by associates of an Afghan Taliban leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani.

There have been dozens of such drone strikes in the past year in the restive region, which borders Afghanistan.

Residents of the main town in the region, Miran Shah, reported hearing a huge blast which shattered windows and blew out doors, said the AFP news agency.

Officials said some people had also been wounded in the attack.

The US military does not routinely confirm drone attacks but the armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are believed to be the only forces capable of deploying drones in the region.

Pakistan has been publicly critical of drone attacks. The government says that they fuel support for the militants.

Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, is though to have died in a similar drone strike on 5 August.

But some Taliban elements have denied he is dead.



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