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Pakistan is hit by another drone attack

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

At least eight militants have died in the second suspected double drone strike in as many days in north-west Pakistan, officials say.

In the first attack, four missiles hit a vehicle and a compound in Hamzoni, near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan region, killing three.

Another five people died half an hour later in the second attack in Maizar Madakhel area.

The US has recently stepped up such raids in the region.

All the dead militants belonged to the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, officials and witnesses told the BBC News website.

Another eight suspected militants from the same group were killed in a double drone strike in the Datta Khel area on Tuesday.

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.

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



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