US drone strike kills 20 militants in NW Pakistan

August 9, 2011 - 11:59 PM

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani intelligence officials say 20 Islamist militants are now known to have been killed in an American missile attack close to the Afghan border.

The officials said 16 of the dead were Afghan militants belonging to the Haqqani network, an insurgent faction fighting the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

The attack took place early Tuesday on a house in the North Waziristan tribal region.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — An American drone fired two missiles at a home in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border before dawn Wednesday, killing at least four foreign militants, two Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The strike took place near Miran Shah, the main town in Pakistan's troubled North Waziristan tribal region, the officials said.

The nationalities of the slain men were not immediately known and the officials said their agents were trying to get more details.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The United States relies heavily on the covert, CIA-run missile program in its efforts to kill Taliban and al-Qaida militants in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Washington does not publicly acknowledge the program, which is a source of tension between the U.S. and Pakistan. Islamabad has protested the strikes, saying they fuel militancy in the region.