8 Jan 2013

US drone kills seven,

10:23 pm on 8 January 2013

At least seven militants have been killed in two US drone attacks in Pakistan's north-western tribal area, Pakistani officials say.

Missiles hit two buildings close to the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, the officials say.

They told the BBC that among the militants killed were two foreign fighters, said to be from Uzbekistan.

North Waziristan is a stronghold for insurgent groups active in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A senior Taliban commander Mullah Nazir was recently killed in a drone strike in neighbouring South Waziristan.

Over the weekend, officials said a militant training facility had been hit.

More than two dozen people have been killed in drone attacks since the new year.

Drone attacks are a continuing point of contention between the US and the Pakistani government, which says they kill civilians and violate its sovereignty.

They have increased in frequency since US President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Hundreds of people have been killed, stoking public anger in Pakistan.

The dead include senior al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, as well as an unknown number of other militants and civilians.

Islamabad has called for an end to the attacks saying they violate the country's sovereignty, but analysts say Pakistan has privately sanctioned such actions in the past.