Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Pakistan drone raid 'kills eight' in North Waziristan

US drone
US drone attacks are being stepped up along the Afghan-Pakistan border

Missiles fired by a suspected US drone have killed at least eight people in north-western Pakistan, officials say.

The missiles hit a militant compound in hills near the village of Datta Khel close to Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan region.

A local official told BBC Urdu that the compound was being used by militants from the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group.

North and South Waziristan are close to the Afghan border and known sanctuaries for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

The United States has recently stepped up drone attacks in the region.

Hundreds of people, including a number of militants, have been killed in scores of drone strikes since August 2008.

Pakistan has publicly criticised drone attacks, saying they fuel support for militants, but observers say the authorities privately condone the strikes.

The American military does not routinely confirm drone operations, but analysts say the US is the only force capable of deploying such aircraft in the region.

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