updated 10/9/2008 2:40:09 PM ET 2008-10-09T18:40:09

Suspected U.S. missiles reportedly struck two areas in a militant-riddled Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border on Thursday, killing at least nine people, intelligence officials said.

The strikes appeared to be part of a surge in U.S. cross-border assaults on alleged militant targets in Pakistan, attacks that have strained ties between the two anti-terror allies.

Two local Pakistani intelligence officials, citing reports from informants and agents, said one strike occurred at a house in Tappi village in North Waziristan tribal region. Some of the nine people killed were believed to be foreigners.

A local tribesman, Shoaib Dawar, said Taliban militants surrounded the house. He said drones were heard in the area before the strike.

A second alleged strike was reported at a house in Dande Darpa Khel.

The site was near a seminary of veteran Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, considered an archenemy of the U.S. No casualties were immediately reported from the latter strike.

The intelligence officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. Army spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment.

North Waziristan is part of Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

Al-Qaida and Taliban militants have used Pakistan's tribal areas as bases from which to attack U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, spurring U.S. frustration with Pakistan. The tribal regions are also considered potential hiding places for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman Al-Zawahri.

Pakistani officials have protested such strikes as violations of their nation's sovereignty. The U.S. rarely acknowledges such missile strikes, some of which are believed to be carried out by the CIA.

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