By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD, Associated Press Writer
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – A suspected U.S. missile strike killed three people late Saturday in a town near the Afghan border, the latest in a series of attacks in a region where top al-Qaida leaders are believed to be living, two intelligence officials said.
Two unmanned drones were seen abovein minutes before missiles hit a factory in the town, they said, based on reports from informants in the town.
The pair said three people were killed, but no other information was immediately available. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. U.S. officials were not immediately available for comment.
Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters have established bases throughout Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal regions, where they are said to plan attacks on U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan as well as violence in Pakistan.
Under U.S. pressure, Pakistan has carried out military offensives against insurgents while also trying to woo various tribes to turn against extremists. But in recent weeks, the U.S. has signaled its impatience with Pakistani efforts.
The U.S. is suspected in at least 11 missile strikes on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border since mid-August, killing more than 100 people, most of them alleged militants, according to an Associated Press count based on Pakistan intelligence numbers.