A U.S. drone on Thursday targeted a compound in the lawless North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan, killing five suspected militants.

The attack occurred in Heso Khel village near Mir Ali, one of the main towns in North Waziristan Agency, security officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels.

U.S. and Afghan officials describe the region as a safe haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda elements.

The compound was destroyed in the attack, officials said. Reports said four missiles were fired at the compound. The identity of those killed could not immediately be ascertained.

Nearly 40 militants have been killed in five drone strikes in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan since the beginning of the year.

The U.S. continued with its drone campaign despite Pakistan describing the attacks as counter-productive and a violation of its sovereignty.

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