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U.S. drone kills 5 militants in northwest Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) ― A U.S. drone strike on Sunday killed at least five militants in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said.

The attack happened in the Kundghar area of Shawal district, in the South Waziristan tribal region which is considered a stronghold of Taliban militants.

“A U.S. drone fired two missiles targeting a center run by Uzbek rebels, killing five militants,” a senior Pakistani security official said.

Another security official confirmed the attack and casualties but said the identity of those killed in the strike was not immediately known.

South Waziristan is one of seven lawless tribal districts of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan.

These semiautonomous areas have long been a hideout for Islamist militants of all stripes ― including al-Qaida and the homegrown Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks and Uighurs.

Washington has pressed Islamabad to wipe out the sanctuaries in the North Waziristan tribal area, which militants have used to launch attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.