Drone strike hits Pakistani tribal region

North Waziristan is one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border.

Story highlights

  • A drone attack occurs in North Waziristan, a military official says
  • The Pakistani authorities are still trying to determine the number of casualties
  • North Waziristan is widely believed to be a haven for insurgent groups
  • A parliamentary report has called for an end to U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan

A drone strike took place early Friday in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan, a Pakistani military official said.

Authorities are trying to determine the number of casualties, said Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, a spokesman for the Pakistani Army. "Right now, the area has been cordoned off," he said.

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.

The attack Friday targeted an area of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

The United States rarely acknowledges its drone program publicly, although President Barack Obama commented on such strikes in January and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta acknowledged the use of CIA predator drones in the region last year.

Pakistani lawmakers are currently debating a parliamentary committee's report that recommends that the United States stop drone strikes inside its territory and apologize unconditionally for airstrikes last year that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border.

There has been a sharp drop in the number of suspected U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan since those fatal airstrikes.