The attack was the first since a massive anti-drone rally last weekend near the lawless region known as a stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda militants, security officials  said.— Photo by Reuters

MIRANSHAH: A US drone strike targeting a militant compound killed five insurgents in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border on Wednesday, security officials said.

The attack was the first since a massive anti-drone rally last weekend near the lawless region known as a stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda militants, they said.

“Several US drones flew into the area before dawn and fired four missiles on a compound, killing five militants,” a security official told AFP after the strike in Hurmuz area, east of Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan tribal region.

Another security official in the northwestern city of Peshawar confirmed the attack and casualties.

The identities of those killed in the strike was not immediately clear.

The al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network in North Waziristan, blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, is one of the thorniest issues between Islamabad and Washington.

The attacks by unmanned US aircraft remain contentious, they are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, which says they violate its sovereignty and fan anti-US sentiment, but American officials are said to believe they are too important to give up.

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