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Suspected U.S. Missile Attack Kills Eight In Pakistan

Missile attacks along the border with Afghanistan, despite Pakistani protests.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -- A missile strike believed to have been launched by a U.S. drone aircraft has killed at least eight militants in a Pakistani tribal region, intelligence officials and witnesses said.

Two missiles struck a house in an area near Sarorogha village in the South Waziristan tribal region, a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, the officials said. South Waziristan borders Afghanistan, though Mehsud's territory does not touch the frontier.

"At least eight militants have been killed in the attack," said one intelligence official in the area. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

A villager, named Hakeemullah, said eight bodies had been recovered from the rubble, and people were searching for more casualties.

The United States began staging drone attacks with greater frequency a year ago, and there has been no letup since the new administration led by President Barack Obama came in a month ago, despite complaints from the Pakistani government.

Pakistan believes the civilian casualties caused by the strikes have fuelled support for the militants cause, whereas U.S. officials believe the drone attacks have killed a number of mid-level Al-Qaeda members.