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Suspected US Drone Strikes Kills 6 in NW Pakistan

A file picture of a U.S. drone (Predator) in the Afghan-Pakistan region

A file picture of a U.S. drone (Predator) in the Afghan-Pakistan region

Pakistani officials say two suspected U.S. drone strikes have killed six suspected militants in the northwestern part of the country.

The officials said an unmanned aircraft fired two missiles, killing two suspected militants as they rode a motorbike in a village in the North Waziristan tribal region.

Earlier, Pakistani intelligence officials said an unmanned aircraft fired two missiles in the same village, killing at least four suspected militants.

The French news agency quoted the officials as saying the apparent drone strike hit a car immediately after it parked outside a house in a village. The victims have not been identified, but officials believe them to be local militants.

The United States does not confirm drone attacks, but regional experts credit the attacks with killing al-Qaida and Taliban leaders. Critics say U.S. drone attacks have killed hundreds of civilians over last few years.

Last month, Pakistani tribesmen from a restive northwest region along the Afghan border staged a silent protest in Islamabad against U.S. missile strikes.

About two dozen tribesmen identified themselves as relatives of civilians killed or wounded by U.S. missiles fired from unmanned planes known as drones.

Most of the demonstrators live in the North Waziristan tribal region, which is part of Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan.

U.S. officials believe al-Qaida and Taliban groups use the tribal region as a safe haven to conduct strikes on coalition and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. The Pakistani military has been reluctant to launch an offensive in the region at the same time it battles domestic Taliban elements elsewhere in the country.