Suspected U.S. strike kills 2 in Pakistan - agents

ISLAMABAD Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:12pm IST

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A suspected U.S. drone aircraft fired a missile at a house in the militancy-plagued Pakistani region of North Waziristan on the Afghan border on Saturday, killing two people, security agency officials said.

U.S. forces in Afghanistan have carried out at least 27 air strikes by unmanned aircraft on militant targets in northwest Pakistan this year, according to a Reuters tally, more than half of them since the beginning of September.

"A missile was fired at a house owned by one Taj Mohammad, and we have reports of two men killed," said an intelligence agency official.

Another security agent and a Taliban militant confirmed the strike and the death toll at the house in the village of Chashma, 2 km north of the region's main town of Miranshah.

There was no immediate information about the identity of those killed.

Security has deteriorated sharply in both Pakistan and Afghanistan recently, seven years after U.S. soldiers and their Afghan allies drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan in the weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Apparently frustrated by Pakistan's inability to tackle the militants, and alarmed by the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the United States has ramped up attacks with missile-firing pilotless drones on militants in Pakistan.

Pakistan has complained to the United States over the strikes, saying they undermine its efforts to combat militants, but Washington has shrugged off the protests.

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