The attack occurred in the tribal region’s Dattakhel area. — Photo by AFP

MIRAMSHAH: At least four people were killed in a US drone attack in the North Waziristan tribal region on Wednesday, DawnNews reported. The drone fired two missiles on a vehicle in the tribal region’s Dattakhel area.

The deeply unpopular covert US drone campaign, which operates with the tacit consent of Pakistani officials, has been ramped up recently as the missiles target insurgents believed to be hiding in the lawless border regions.

Missile attacks doubled in the area last year as the covert campaign was stepped up, with more than 100 drone strikes killing over 670 people in 2010 compared with 45 strikes that killed 420 in 2009, according to an AFP tally.

Most have been concentrated in North Waziristan, the alleged Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda bastion in Pakistan, where the United States wants the Pakistan military to launch a ground offensive.

Pakistan has however stalled on launching such an offensive in the region, saying its troops are already overstretched.