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Two US Drone Attacks Kill Nine Militants in Pakistan

Supporters of Pakistan's Labour Education rally to condemn U. S. drone attacks on Taliban and al-Qaida hide outs in Pakistani tribal area of Waziristan along the Afghanistan border, in Lahore, Pakistan (File Photo)

Pakistani intelligence officials say nine suspected militants have been killed in two U.S. drone attacks in the country's North Waziristan tribal region.

Officials say two missiles were fired at a vehicle near the town of Miran Shah Sunday. They say the missiles blew up the vehicle, killing all four people inside.

Pakistani officials say earlier, a simillar drone strike killed five militants in the same region. A militant compound was destroyed in that attack.

The United States has increased its use of missiles launched from unmanned aircraft against Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants. There have been at least 40 such strikes since September in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border.

The U.S. does not publicly acknowledge the attacks, which often are criticized by Pakistani officials as a violation of their country's sovereignty.

In other violence, Pakistani officials say unidentified gunmen attacked a police van in the country's southwest, killing four officers.

Sunday's ambush occurred in Baluchistan province. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.