U.S. drones fired five missiles at a house in a Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border on Friday, killing at least 22 people, Pakistani intelligence officials said. The strike came a day after Pakistan's army chief denounced such attacks, and could further sour already deteriorating relations between Washington and Islamabad.
Also Friday, hundreds of militants attacked a checkpoint in a northwest Pakistani district along the border overnight and into the morning hours, killing 14 security troops, officials said - a show of insurgents' continued strength despite army offensives against them.
The latest U.S. missiles hit Spinwam village in North Waziristan, a tribal region home to Islamist militants that target American and NATO troops in Afghanistan. The two intelligence officials said civilians were believed to be among the dead, and that several people also were wounded. The reported death toll was relatively high for an American missile strike.
The U.S. rarely acknowledges the CIA-run missile program, meaning the usual sources for the confirmation of strikes are Pakistani intelligence officials, who speak on condition of anonymity because they do not have permission to speak to the media. That information from the region is nearly impossible to verify independently. The area is remote, rugged and dangerous, and access to it is legally restricted.---------------------------------------