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Pakistan Reports 4 Dead in Suspected US Strike

Pakistani intelligence officials say at least four militants were killed in a suspected U.S. missile strike in northwest Pakistan.

Officials and witnesses say a U.S. unmanned aircraft (drone) fired a missile that hit a vehicle near Wana in South Waziristan, Wednesday, killing four alleged militants.

The strike came one day after Pakistani Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi repeated his government's opposition to the strikes during meeting with top U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke.

More than 30 missile strikes have been carried out on suspected al-Qaida and Taliban targets in Pakistan since last year. U.S. military officials never confirm the strikes, which are believed to be carried out by armed forces and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employees from Afghanistan.

In other news, Pakistani authorities say recent clashes between security forces and Taliban militants in northwest Pakistan left up to 21 militants, tribesmen and police officers dead.

Officials say fighting broke out after Taliban militants crossed into the district of Buner late Monday from their stronghold in Swat Valley.

Community leaders asked the militants to leave, but they refused, and the standoff turned violent.

Three policemen, two tribesmen, and as many as 16 Taliban militants were reported killed. The number of Taliban deaths could not be verified.

In February, local officials in Swat struck a deal with Islamic insurgents to allow the enforcement of Islamic law (Sharia) in the region as part of a deal to stop months of fighting.