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Drone attack kills 20 in Pakistan

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • At least 20 killed when missiles fired from drones hit compound in village of Nizba
  • Third drone strike targeting the Shaktoi region in the past four days
  • U.S. only country in the region known to have the ability to launch missiles from drones
RELATED TOPICS
  • Pakistan
  • The Taliban

South Waziristan, Pakistan (CNN) -- A drone attack on a suspected militant compound killed at least 20 in South Waziristan early Sunday morning, Pakistani officials said.

The drone fired at least four missiles at the compound in the village of Nizba, a restive tribal area bordering Pakistan, the officials said.

It was the third drone strike targeting the Shaktoi region in the past four days.

The United States is the only country in the region known to have the ability to launch missiles from drones, which are controlled remotely.

U.S. officials normally do not comment on suspected drone strikes, which have caused tension between Pakistan and the United States in the past.

Sunday's attacks follows one on Thursday that intelligence officials said wounded Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Taliban in Pakistan.

The Taliban responded by releasing two audio tapes said to be from Mehsud in which he said he was in good health.

"Neither have I been martyred in a drone attack nor injured," the voice says on a tape released on Saturday. CNN could not confirm whether the voice was that of Mehsud.

A Taliban spokesman, Azam Tariq, said Mehsud had left the site of the attack -- a converted religious school -- before the missiles struck.

Journalists Nasir Dawar and Umar Aziz Khan contributed to this report.