Suspected U.S. unmanned aircraft launched four missile strikes at a house and two vehicles in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border Wednesday evening, killing 11 militants, including three foreigners, said intelligence officials.
The attacks occurred within about an hour in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, part of Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region that is dominated by militant groups that often attack U.S. and other foreign troops in Afghanistan.
The first attack occurred at about 9 p.m. and targeted a house in Lataka village, killing four militants, said the intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Minutes later, a drone attacked a vehicle nearby, killing two foreign militants, said the officials. A second vehicle was attacked about 15 minutes later, killing three militants, including one foreigner, they said.
The final attack targeted militants collecting bodies from the house destroyed in the first strike, killing two of them, said the officials.
The U.S. is now suspected of carrying out 14 missile strikes in Pakistan's tribal belt this month, continuing a trend of Washington relying more heavily on the attacks to target militants out of reach its troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. carried out 21 such strikes in September, nearly double the previous monthly record.
The exact identities of those killed in Wednesday's attacks were not known, but the area where the strikes occurred is dominated by a militant group led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur that regularly attacks NATO troops in Afghanistan.
Also Wednesday, an official said suspected militants killed three anti-Taliban tribal elders in northwestern Pakistan, the latest in a string of attacks against tribesmen who dare stand up to the Islamist insurgents.
Two other elders were wounded in the shootout Tuesday night in the Bazai area of the Mohmand tribal region, local government official Javed Khan said. The killings occurred after the assailants ordered the tribesmen to halt at a checkpoint set up along a road, he said.
Mohmand has been the scene of occasional military operations against Taliban and allied insurgent groups.
Pakistan has encouraged local tribes to form anti-Taliban militias in Mohmand and other parts of the lawless tribal belt. Militants have in turn killed scores of tribesmen who side with the government.
Elsewhere in Pakistan, gunmen killed an ethnic Baluch political activist Wednesday in the southwest as he headed from his suburban home to the city of Kalat.
Nooruddin Mengal, a leading member of the Baluchistan National Party, was on foot when a pair of gunmen rode up on a motorbike and fired at him, said Shukrullah Sasoli, a local police official. Mengal was the third prominent member of the party to be killed this year.
Page 2 of 2 - Sasoli declined to say who was suspected in the attack.
Baluchistan province has a number of nationalist movements, as well as a violent nationalist insurgency, calling for greater autonomy from the federal government. Their activities are of major concern to security and intelligence agencies, who often are blamed for targeted killings and disappearances of politicians.