ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Missiles fired from U.S. drone aircraft hit a seminary and houses associated with a Taliban commander, killing at least nine people, including militants and civilians, officials and witnesses say.
With violence spiraling in Afghanistan, Washington is becoming more aggressive about insurgent havens abutting the Afghan border, despite the strain it places on relations with Pakistan just as its new president takes office.
Monday's incident occurred in a village in North Waziristan, a militant stronghold in Pakistan's tribal belt and a possible hiding place for Osama bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.
Residents told of seeing two Predator drones shortly before multiple explosions hit a seminary and several nearby houses in the village of Dande Darba Khel.
A Pakistani intelligence official, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said three suspected foreign militants and two children were among the dead.
First Lt. Nathan Perry, a spokesman for the U.S. military coalition in Afghanistan, said he had no information that he could release. He did not deny coalition involvement.
The targets were associated with Jalaluddin Haqqani, a veteran of the fight against Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s whom American commanders now count among their most dangerous foes.
Haqqani and his son, Siraj, have been linked to attacks this year including an attempt to kill Afghan President Hamid Karzai and an attack on a hotel in Kabul. Haqqani network operatives plague U.S. forces in Afghanistan's eastern Khost province with ambushes and roadside bombs.