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Eight killed in US drone strike

US drone-fired missiles have hit a house in Pakistan's north west tribal region near the Afghan border, killing eight people, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The attack occurred in Spalga village in the North Waziristan tribal area, said the officials.

The identities of those killed were unknown, but the area is dominated by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a prominent militant commander focused on fighting foreign troops in Afghanistan.

The US does not publicly discuss details of the covert CIA-run drone programme in Pakistan.

The programme has caused tensions with Pakistan. Although the government is widely believed to have provided support for the strikes in the past, that cooperation has become strained as its relationship with Washington has deteriorated.

Pakistan kicked the US out of a base used by American drones last year in retaliation for American air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops at two Afghan border posts on November 26.

The move is not expected to significantly impact drone operations, but the pace of strikes has slowed since the border incident as the US has tried to repair the relationship with Pakistan.

Pakistan also retaliated for the errant air strikes by closing its Afghan border crossings to supplies meant for Nato troops in Afghanistan.

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