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Drone Strike Kills 10 In Pakistan Tribal Area

A suspected U.S. drone has fired missiles into Pakistan's tribal area near the Afghan border.

Pakistani intelligence officials tell RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal that 10 suspected Taliban insurgents were killed in the strike on a compound in the village of Spalga in volatile North Waziristan.

There has been no word on the identities of any of those killed.

The area, however, is controlled by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a militant commander who has focused on fighting foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Such strikes have caused a strain in relations between Pakistan and the United States.

Relations reached a low on November 26 when U.S. air strikes accidentally killed 24 Pakistani troops at two Afghan border posts.

Pakistan responded by kicking the United States out of an air base used for drone strikes and closed its border crossings with Afghanistan.

On February 7, Pakistani Defense Minister Ahmad Mukhtar suggested the country could reopen the crossings but only after negotiating a better deal with the coalition.

Pakistani officials have called for the coalition to pay higher fees for using the route, complaining coalition trucks have damaged the roads.

Since the closure, analysts say the United States has been forced to spend six times as much money to ship supplies to Afghanistan along other routes.

With agency reports
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