Four killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan

At least four suspected militants were killed and several others injured in two U.S. drone strikes at a compound near Miranshah late Wednesday night.The unmanned U. S. aircraft fired two missiles at a house suspected of being a militant hideout in Qutabkhel village, 5 kilometers south of Miranshah, a main town of North Waziristan which borders Afghanistan.Identities of the killed and wounded and other details are not immediately available.The area residents surrounded the house after the attack and pulled out the bodies, sources said, adding the bodies were charred beyond recognition.The U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan is the 26th of its kind (counted on daily basis) in Pakistan since this year. At least 166 people have reportedly been killed in such strikes so far this year.While most of the victims are believed to be suspected militants, the U.S. drone strikes do often kill innocent people.Late last month, U.S. drones launched an attack on a religious school in Pakistan's northwest district of Hangu, killing at least 15 people including many students.The strike triggered off a nationwide protest in Pakistan and has led to the blockade of the NATO supply routes via the country' s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.Pakistani government also criticises drone strikes as a violation of sovereignty and counterproductive to anti-terror efforts. But ties with Washington have nevertheless improved this year after lurching from crisis to crisis in 2011 and 2012.

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