Missile attack kills 5 in Pakistan
A suspected US missile strike killed two Arabs and three other people in northwest Pakistan late Sunday, intelligence officials said, in the latest in a barrage of American attacks on suspected militant targets in the region.
Pakistan's border region with Afghanistan is home to scores of al-Qaeda and Taliban militants and the United States is pressing Islamabad to do more to fight them.
The remote lawless area is believed to be a likely hiding place for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Since last year, Washington has stepped up attacks by unmanned planes believed launched from bases in Afghanistan.
It rarely acknowledges carrying out the attacks, which have killed many militants but angered Pakistan's government.
Meanwhile, up to 50 militants attacked a terminal for trucks carrying supplies to US and Nato troops in Afghanistan early Monday, in the second such assault in northwest Pakistan in two days.
Rising Taliban attacks have raised doubts about the reliability of critical supply routes through Pakistan, prompting the US and Nato to seek alternatives.
The identities of those killed in Sunday's attack were not immediately known, two intelligence officials said.
It took place in Chota Janikhel village close to Bannu town, they said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Last Thursday, up to 22 suspected militants were killed in a strike in a separate part of the region.
There have been about three dozen suspected US attacks close to the Afghan border since last year.
Pakistan's government publicly protests the raids as violations of its sovereignty and says the anger generated by them undercuts its efforts to battle extremism. Still, top civilian and military officials are widely believed to have a deal with Washington allowing them.
Up to 50 assailants attacked the al-Fasil terminal early Monday, outnumbering security guards, before throwing gasoline over 10 container trucks carrying supplies and setting off explosions, said guard Janab-e-aali.
"They disarmed all the guards and warned us not to be smart, they snatched our weapons too," he said.
It was unclear if the torched supplies were destined for foreign troops in Afghanistan or for the Western-backed Afghan army, which uses similar imported equipment.
On Sunday, attackers at another terminal in the city burned about 20 vehicles, including several Humvees.
Afghan-based US and Nato forces get up to 75 percent of their supplies via routes through Pakistan.
Suspected Taliban militants have repeatedly struck transport depots near Peshawar in recent months, destroying scores of military vehicles, while attacks on the road through the Khyber Pass to the Afghan border have repeatedly forced its temporary closure.
US and Nato officials insist the attacks have little impact on their operations, but are looking at ways to bring more supplies into Afghanistan through Central Asia.