Suspected US drones kill at least 14 in Pakistan


Pakistani tribesmen hold banners as they march during a protest rally against US drone attacks, in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan district on January 21, 2011. Hundreds of Pakistani tribesmen paraded in the streets to demand an end to US drone attacks which they said were killing innocent people in the tribal areas, witnesses said. In 2010 the campaign doubled missile attacks in the tribal area with around 100 drone strikes killing more than 650 people, according to an AFP tally.



A drone strike hit Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region early today, killing at least 14 people, according to The New York Times

The missile attacks, believed to be the work of US drones, are the third such strikes in the last three days. They come as the US is about to conduct delicate talks with Pakistan in the nation's capital, said The Times, with a top US defense department official set to arrive in Islamabad later this week. 

Local officials told The Times that today's attack -- which reportedly killed between 14 and 16 people -- is the most deadly attack in the region since November last year. 

More from GlobalPost: Drone strikes continue to pound Pakistan's northwest

The attacks targeted a believed military compound in Hesokhel, near the North Waziristan capital of Miranshah. The area is considered rife with militant activity, reported BBC News

China's Xinhua, citing the local Urdu TV channel Dawn, said the strikes hit around 5:20 a.m. and terrified the town residents. 

Pakistan has denounced US drone attacks as a violation of its sovereignty. The issue has severely strained US-Pakistani relations in recent months.