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Officials: Drone strike in Pakistan kills 4

By Reza Sayah, CNN
updated 6:21 AM EST, Thu February 9, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A drone strike occurs in North Waziristan, security officials say
  • It targets an insurgent hideout
  • North Waziristan is widely believed to be a haven for insurgent groups
  • Drone attacks in Pakistan have dropped sharply in recent months

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A suspected U.S. drone strike killed four people in Pakistan's tribal region Thursday morning, Pakistani officials told CNN.

The drone fired two missiles at a suspected militant hideout in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, according to security and political officials, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The attack was the second drone strike in Pakistan in as many days.

Ten people were killed early Wednesday when a suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles at an insurgent hideout , about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) east of Miranshah.

North Waziristan is one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border and widely believed to be a haven for the Haqqani network and other militant groups that are fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan.

Thursday's attack was the fifth suspected U.S. drone strike on Pakistani soil this year, all of them targeting locations in North Waziristan.

There has been a sharp drop in the number of drone attacks in Pakistan since a NATO airstrike in November killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, driving U.S.- Pakistan relations to a low point.

The Pakistani government shut down the two NATO supply routes in the country after the attack and has since been reviewing its partnership with the United States.

An investigation into the incident by Brig. Gen. Stephen Clark on behalf of the United States concluded that Pakistan provoked NATO forces and that distrust between the two parties led to the firefight. Pakistan disputed the findings, saying Clark's report was factually incorrect.

There are signs that tensions are easing as representatives of NATO, the Pakistani military and the Afghan National Army met Wednesday at the Border Coordination Center at Torkham, a statement from Islamabad said..

The meeting was part of a "tripartite engagement to discuss and improve coordination measures on the Pakistan and Afghanistan border," according to the Pakistani military.

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