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Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Missiles 'kill four' in Pakistan

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

At least four suspected militants were killed when a US drone fired two missiles in Pakistan's North Waziristan region, security officials said.

The attack took place in Norak village, about 18km (12 miles) from Miran Shah, the tribal agency's main town.

Hundreds of people, many of them civilians, have been killed in drone attacks in the past year. Top Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was among them.

North and South Waziristan are known havens of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Officials said the missiles targeted the compound of local tribesman Musharraf Gul. Villagers in the area said the house was on fire.

A security official told the AFP news agency that the missiles were fired at 0130 local time (2030 GMT).

"It is not clear if there was any high-value target," the agency quoted him as saying.

"We also do not know the identity of the militants," he said.

Insurgents had cordoned off the area and were pulling bodies out of the rubble, an official said.

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

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

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