US drone strike kills 4 militants in Pakistan

Islamabad: A US drone targeted a compound in Pakistan`s volatile North Waziristan tribal region today, killing four pro-Taliban militants, security officials said.

The CIA-operated spy plane fired two missiles at the compound in a market of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, the officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels.

Four militants were killed instantly and two more injured in the attack that was carried out at 3 am, the officials said.

Local residents said the attack triggered a fire which destroyed the house in the compound, which was located in the money changers` market in Miranshah. Local residents, including the Taliban, carried out rescue work after the attack.

US and Afghan officials have described North Waziristan as a safe haven for Taliban and Al Qaeda elements. The Pakistani military has refused to launch a military offensive in the semi-autonomous tribal region despite considerable pressure from the US.

A Pakistani parliamentary panel that made recommendations for resetting ties with the US has suggested that the government should demand an immediate end to drone strikes, arguing that they are counter-productive because they exacerbate anti-US sentiments and violate the country`s sovereignty.

President Barack Obama confirmed for the first time that US drones target militants on Pakistani soil in January.