Two American missile attacks killed 15 people Friday in a region in northwest Pakistan that has seen few such strikes in the past, Pakistani officials said, possibly signaling an expansion of the CIA-led covert war inside the country.
The missiles, fired by unmanned drones, hit houses in the villages of Spin Drag and Shandana in the Tirah Valley of the Khyber region, two Pakistani intelligence and two government officials said. The same valley, which is known to be home to Islamist militants, was hit late Thursday in another U.S. attack.
It was unclear how many people were killed in each village, and the identities of the dead were not immediately known. Three attacks in 24-hour span is not unusual.
U.S. officials do not acknowledge firing the missiles, much less comment on who they are targeting. In the past, there have been occasional attacks in rarely hit areas of the border region, including at least one in Khyber.
Pakistani officials protest the missile strikes, but are believed to secretly authorize and provide intelligence on at least some of them. Analysts also say targeting information for many of the attacks is likely to be provided by Pakistani intelligence officials.