ISLAMABAD, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The third drone strike on Monday killed at least four people in northwest Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal area, local TV channels reported.
According to local Urdu TV Dunya, U.S. drones fired two missiles on a vehicle carrying suspected militants in Shawal area of South Waziristan, a tribal area lying at some 40 km away from the Afghanistan border.
According to media reports, three drones are still hovering low over the North and South Waziristan area creating panic among the local residents.
This is the third attack launched by U.S. drones during last five hours which killed at least 21 people, most of them are believed to be Punjabi Taliban.
Earlier attacks were launched in Wana area of South Waziristan that killed at least 17 people.
The United States recently changed the target of drone strikes. Earlier most of the drones were fired in North Waziristan but after unconfirmed media reports saying that Pakistani authorities have agreed to launch a military operation in North Waziristan in coalition with the United States, the target was shifted to South Waziristan.
On Friday night, the U.S. drone strike killed a top militant leader Ilyas Kashmiri along with eight other militants. Kashmiri was wanted by the United States and Pakistan. He was behind the last month's brazen attack on navy air base in Karachi, which killed 10 Pakistani navy personnel.
The latest U.S. drone strike is the 36th of its kind in Pakistan since 2011. To date, a total of 264 people including women and children have reportedly been killed since the advent of 2011, but most of the victims of drone strikes are believed to be suspected militants.