Who was the target of the US drone strike in Kurram Agency

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Who was the target of the US drone strike in Kurram Agency

ISLAMABAD - A suspected United States drone killed five people in an attack on a compound in Kurram Agency on Monday, officials said.

At least four missiles were fired during the strike in the Kurram Agency close to the Afghan border, said the officials.

“Five people have been killed in a drone strike on a suspected militant's house,” an intelligence official told AFP. A local administration official also confirmed the toll.

The drone strike was reported days after the Pakistan Army said that it had recovered "safe and sound" a family of foreign hostages from the custody of a terrorist outfit after it received and acted on intelligence shared by the United States (US).

On Monday, one official claimed that the target was a suspected militant Abu Bakar, commander of the Haqqani network. However the death of the Haqqani network commander could not be confirmed.

An attack in the same region in September left three people dead and two wounded.

It is the second such strike since US President Donald Trump in August accused Pakistan of offering “safe havens” to extremists.

The use of US drones has dwindled dramatically in recent years in Pakistan, where the strikes have proven extremely controversial with the public and rights groups. But the US is believed to have ordered at least two other drone attacks this year.

The first under Trump killed two men riding a motorbike in Kurram in March, while the second reportedly occurred in late April in North Waziristan, one of seven tribal districts stretching along the Afghan border.

Islamabad has repeatedly denied claims of being soft on militancy, accusing the US of ignoring the thousands who have been killed in Pakistan and the billions spent fighting extremists. In June this year, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had said that unilateral actions like drone strikes were counterproductive to the fight against terrorism.

Drone strikes are "counterproductive and against [the] spirit of ongoing cooperation and intelligence sharing being diligently undertaken by Pakistan," he was quoted as saying by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

"Pakistan Army is capable of taking effective measure if actionable intelligence is shared," he added.