msnbc.com news services
updated 10/3/2008 2:13:38 PM ET 2008-10-03T18:13:38

Up to 21 people, 14 of them foreigners, were killed Friday by a suspected U.S. missile strike in North Waziristan along the border with Afghanistan, a Pakistani TV network reported.

The report by Dawn News TV followed comments by Pakistani intelligence sources that two suspected U.S. missile strikes on Friday had killed at least 12 people.

The strikes took place in two villages in North Waziristan, according to the sources.

American forces recently ramped up cross-border operations against Taliban and al-Qaida militants in the Pakistan's border zone with Afghanistan — a region considered a likely hiding place for Osama bin Laden.

Earlier this week, officials said that a suspected U.S. missile strike on a Taliban commander's home in Pakistan killed six people late Tuesday.

Pakistan says the attacks often result in civilian casualties and serve to fan extremism. American officials complain that Pakistan was unwilling or unable to act against the militants.

Trouble spots
Militants in the border region are blamed for rising attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and attacks within Pakistan, including the Sept. 20 truck bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed more than 50 people.

The U.N. reacted to that blast on Thursday by ordering the children of its international staff out of the city — putting it on a par with trouble spots such as Kabul, Afghanistan and Mogadishu, Somalia.

It insisted the move was temporary and would not affect its operations.

Britain announced Wednesday it was repatriating its diplomats' children and other countries may follow suit. Pakistan has long been a non-family posting for U.S. diplomatic staff.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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