Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed nine people in northwest Pakistan.
say at least four missiles hit near two villages west of Wana, a major
town near the Afghan border in Pakistan's South Waziristan region.
U.S. drones are reported to have launched at least
30 missile attacks in Pakistan since the middle of last year, despite
public objections by the Pakistani government.
The targeted South Waziristan region is believed to be home to many al-Qaida and Taliban leaders.
military said Tuesday that it is preparing for a new military offensive
in South Waziristan against Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.
is one of the most wanted militants in Pakistan for scores of attacks
against government and civilian targets. He is also believed to be a
key facilitator for al-Qaida fighters in the country.
from South Waziristan say some residents have fled their homes in
anticipation of violence. An estimated 2.5 million people already have
fled fighting in Pakistan's northwest since the military began battling
Taliban fighters in the greater Swat valley more than a month ago.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.