A senior al-Qaeda operative is believed to be among 12 people killed in two US drone strikes in Pakistan’s lawless North Waziristan tribal region.

Al-Qaeda operative Sheikh Yasin Al-Kuwaiti, his wife and daughter were among eight persons killed when drones fired eight missiles at a house in Haiderkhel village in North Waziristan tribal agency on Tuesday, an unnamed senior security official was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper on Wednesday.

Al-Kuwaiti had married the daughter of a local tribesman, the official said.

“Eight missiles were fired on the compound he was living in with his family. His house has been turned into rubble,” he added.

Unconfirmed reports from the region said the dead included two Uzbek militants.

In another strike that took place 15 minutes after the first one, four people were killed and two wounded at Hassokhel village.

Local residents said they believed the dead were local militants.

Pakistani militants, who control the region bordering Afghanistan, cordoned off the area struck by the drones and took away the bodies and the injured.

There has been a surge in drone strikes in North and South Waziristan, with five attacks recorded since the beginning of the year.

Mullah Nazir, a pro-government warlord who sent his militants across the border to attack foreign forces in Afghanistan, was killed in a drone strike last week.

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