The death toll of the U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's northwest tribal area early Wednesday morning has risen to 16, reported local Urdu TV channel Express.
According to the local media reports, a U.S. unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at a house near Miranshah, center of North Waziristan, when the people in the house were having "sehri" or pre-dawn meal in the Muslim month of Ramadan.
Initial reports said that four people died at the scene and three died of wounds later. Locals arrived at the spot and pulled the bodies from the rubbles, said the reports, adding that the identity of those killed in the strike are not known yet.
Correspondents in the region said that all the slain people were local tribesmen. Security sources, however, claimed that they were local Taliban militants and were using the house as their hideout.
The CIA and Afghan officials allege that North Waziristan is a main base for the Taliban and al-Qaida where they plan cross- border attacks into Afghanistan on foreign and Afghan forces.
Pakistan publicly opposes drone strikes, calling it counterproductive in the war against militants.
The CIA, which does not make comments on drones operations, has ruled out any change in its policy.
U.S. officials insist drone attacks are effective in the on- going war against the militants. Several key al-Qaida and Taliban leaders have been killed in the attacks. But tribesmen say that the majority of the victims are locals.
Wednesday morning's U.S. drone strike is the 46th of its kind ( counted on a daily basis) in Pakistan since this year. To date, a total of 428 people have reportedly been killed in such strikes since the beginning of this year.