No group claimed responsibility for that attack, but suspicion fell on the Pakistani Taliban, which has waged a bloody insurgency against the government in the Swat Valley, where Mingora is located, and other parts of the northwest.
Pakistan is also home to many enemies of the U.S. who Washington has frequently targeted with drone attacks. A U.S. missile strike in the northwest tribal region Thursday killed five suspected militants in the seventh such attack in two weeks, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
The recent spate of strikes has been one of the most intense in the past two years, a period in which political tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan led to a reduced number of attacks compared to 2010, when they were at their most frequent.
It’s unclear whether the current uptick has been caused by particularly valuable intelligence obtained by the CIA, or whether the warming of relations between the two countries has made strikes less sensitive. Protests by the government and Islamic hard-liners have been noticeably muted.
The strike on Thursday occurred in a village near Mir Ali, one of the main towns in the North Waziristan tribal area, said Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Abbot reported from Islamabad. Associated Press writers Rasool Dawar in Peshawar, Pakistan, and Shirin Zada in Mingora, Pakistan, contributed to this report.