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U.S. Missile Strike Kills Six Militants In Pakistan

WANA, Pakistan (Reuters) -- Two missiles believed to have been fired by a U.S. drone aircraft have struck a militant hideout killing six fighters in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal, intelligence officials say.

Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a similar attack in the same region on August 5.

The missiles struck a fortresslike house used as a hideout near Kaniguram area, some 50 kilometers from South Waziristan's main town of Wana on August 27.

"I saw drones flying over the area and then there were two huge explosions," resident Mohammad Omar told Reuters by telephone.

The missile strike was the fourth launched by pilotless U.S. drones in August.

The Taliban had been in denial for weeks about Mehsud's death, but on August 24 two of his aides, Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman, confirmed their leader had been killed.

Hakimullah, who led militants in Orakzai, Khyber, and Kurram tribal regions, has been picked as the new overall commander of the Pakistani Taliban.

Mehsud was blamed for a wave of suicide attacks across Pakistan since late 2007, including the one that killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December of that year.

Analysts and intelligence officials expect some friction to develop within the Taliban's leadership as more senior commanders could resent the younger Hakimullah.