Page last updated at 04:52 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 05:52 UK

Three killed in US drone attack

US drone
Hundreds have been killed in drone attacks in the past year

At least three suspected militants have been killed in a US drone attack in north-west Pakistan, officials say.

Two others were injured when the missile struck a vehicle near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, officials say.

A similar attack in South Waziristan in early August killed Pakistan's top Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

Hundreds of militants and civilians have been killed in dozens of drone attacks in the past year.

Those killed in Monday's attack are said to be Taliban militants, but officials cannot confirm whether any foreign militants were among them.

Villagers told the BBC all the dead men were local Taliban.

Witnesses said that they saw a drone hovering over the area before the attack early on Monday.

Series of attacks

After the attack, the villagers came out of their houses to see smoke rising from near a house.

Two witnesses to the latest attack told the Associated Press news agency that the missile hit a vehicle with blacked out windows.

At least 13 people died in a similar attack in North Waziristan last week when two missiles targeted a compound used by Taliban fighters.

Hundreds of militants and civilians have been killed in dozens of drone attacks in the past year.

Most of the attacks have taken place in North and South Waziristan.

Pakistan has criticised drone attacks, saying they fuel support for the militants.

The US military does not routinely confirm drone attacks, but the American armed forces and CIA in Afghanistan are the only forces capable of deploying drones in the region, say analysts.

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