NBC News and news services
updated 10/13/2010 9:06:13 PM ET 2010-10-14T01:06:13

Suspected U.S. unmanned aircraft launched missile strikes on town in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, killing eight people, NBC News reported.

The attacks occurred within about an hour in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, part of Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region that is dominated by militant groups that often attack U.S. and other foreign troops in Afghanistan

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A U.S. drone first fired two missiles at a speeding car in which some militants were reportedly traveling toward the Afghan border, security officials, Taliban and tribal sources told NBC News.

The first two missiles missed the target and then two others were fired from the drone and hit the car, killing four people.

For 35 minutes the bodies could not be retrieved because five U.S. spy planes were reportedly hovering over the border town, NBC News reported.

Later, when some militants and villagers appeared to help retrieve their bodies, the drone fired two more missiles in which one targeted a house and the other struck the people engaged in rescue work.

The sources told NBC News that four more people, suspected to be militants, were killed in that attack.

The Associated Press reported 11 militants killed, including three foreigners, in drone attacks in the area. The reason for the difference in the death toll was unclear.

The U.S. is now suspected of carrying out 14 missile strikes in Pakistan's tribal belt this month, continuing a trend of Washington relying more heavily on the attacks to target militants out of reach its troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. carried out 21 such strikes in September, nearly double the previous monthly record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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