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PESHAWAR: A US drone attacked a compound in the Shawal area of North Waziristan tribal region late on Friday night, killing five suspected militants and wounding two others.

The attack was the first such strike of the year.

Sources said that a leader of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, Mulla Noor Said Janikhel, and two Uzbek nationals were among the dead. Mulla Noor belongs to Bannu district.

The sources said the drone fired two missiles at the compound in the Mangloti area close to the border with Afghanistan, some 46km west of Miramshah.

The Zarb-i-Azb military operation against militants and terrorists is in final stages in Shawal. Other areas of North Waziristan have been cleared.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2016