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U.S. Drone Attack In Pakistan Kills 10

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) -- A suspected U.S. drone aircraft fired missiles at militants in a Pakistani region on the Afghan border, killing 10 of them including two Arabs, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The United States, alarmed by deteriorating security in Afghanistan, began stepping up drone attacks on Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan last year.

There has been no let-up since President Barack Obama's administration took office in January, despite objections from Pakistan.

Two missiles were fired into the Khaisor area of the North Waziristan ethnic Pashtun tribal region at around 8 a.m. local time, the security officials said.

One missile hit a house in the Khaisor area of North Waziristan's ethnic Pashtun tribal region. Another struck a nearby vehicle.

"Ten militants were killed. Two of them are Arabs but We don't know their nationalities," an intelligence official in the region told Reuters.

Khaisor is about 20 kilometers south of Mir Ali town, a hub for foreign militants in the region.

It was third such attack this month. This week, eight people were killed in a similar attack in neighboring South Waziristan.

The United States has carried out about 40 drone air strikes since the begining of last year, most since September, killing more than 320 people, according to a tally of reports from Pakistani security officials, district government officials and residents.


Pakistan says the drones, operated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), violate its sovereignty and undermine efforts to deal with militancy because they inflame public anger and bolster militant support.

Pakistan has pressed the United States to provide it with drones to allow it to conduct its own antimilitant operations.

U.S. officials said on May 14 the United States had given Pakistan data on militants in the Afghan border area gathered by surveillance drones in Pakistani airspace under an agreement with Pakistan.

Confirming the existence of the program, which started in mid-March, U.S. military officials said it allowed the Pakistani military to request missions over specific areas of its Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

But on May 15, Pakistan denied any such agreement.

"There is no agreement. If there was an agreement, then why would we be protesting against violations of our sovereignty?" Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in Paris.

U.S. officials say that CIA missile strikes are carried out under an agreement with Islamabad that allows Pakistan's political leaders to decry the attacks in public.