US drone strike kills 4 in Shawal

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PESHAWAR- A US drone strike killed at least four militants in a restive northwestern tribal area on the Afghan border Saturday, officials said, raising the toll from a series of attacks this week to 29.
The unmanned aircraft hit on the Shawal area came two days after a separate strike also killed four people.
“The US drone fired two missiles at a vehicle and killed at least four militants, including a key local commander,” a senior security official told AFP.
The official said the drone strike took place around sunset while another official said that those killed included local and foreign militants.
There has been a spike in drone attacks in North Waziristan this month with analysts suggesting it could be linked to intelligence regarding a high-value target.
The semi-autonomous tribal region has for years been a hideout for militants, including Al-Qaeda and the homegrown Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks and Uighurs.
Washington pressed Islamabad repeatedly to wipe out sanctuaries in the North Waziristan tribal area, which militants have used to launch attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan.The Pakistani military launched a major anti-militant offensive in North Waziristan in June and say they have killed more than 1,000 so far, with 86 soldiers losing their lives in the operation.
The area is off-limits to journalists, making it impossible to verify the number and identify the dead independently.
Pakistan routinely protests against US drone strikes, which have been targeting militants in the tribal areas since 2004, saying they violate its sovereignty and are counterproductive in the fight against terror.

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