ISLAMABAD, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- At least 16 people were killed and seven others injured when U.S drones fired a number of missiles at different targets in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of South Waziristan on Sunday, reported local media Geo.
Three militant hideouts were also destroyed in the strike.
According to the local media reports, five U.S. drones were involved in the attack and an estimated eight to ten missiles were fired at different targets in the Babar Ghar area of South Waziristan, which is home to militants of the Hakim Ullah Mehsud group of the Pakistan Taliban and Haqqani network.
Fire erupted following the strikes on houses in the area, local media quoted residents in the area as saying, adding that many killed were burnt beyond recognition.
The identities of the killed and injured are not immediately known.
Local media believed that some high-profile militant leaders were targeted in the strike.
Sunday's U.S. drone strike is the third of its kind in Pakistan in the new year. On Thursday, in the wee hours, U.S drones fired four missiles at a target in South Waziristan, leaving at least ten militants killed, including an important Taliban commander Mullah Nazir. Later in the day, U.S. drones launched another strike in North Waziristan, killing at least four militants.
Following the strikes, thousands of tribesmen staged a rally in protest against the U.S. drone strike in Waziristan on Saturday and Pakistan foreign office spokesman also condemned the strikes.
However, the U.S. side has turned a deaf ear to the protests and condemnation and continues to press ahead with its drone strike in Pakistan's northwest tribal areas of North and South Waziristan along the border with Afghanistan.
U.S. insists that drone strike is an effective way to wipe out the militants hiding along the Pak-Afghan border, who often launch cross-border attacks on the U.S.-led NATO troops and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.