PESHAWAR (Agencies) - At least 31 people were killed Monday in Kurram Agency close to the Afghanistan border in what appeared to be a missile strike from an American drone, according to a government official and a resident of the tribal region. The government official, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorised to speak to reporters, said the attack was apparently the second in three days targeting militants loyal to Baitullah Mehsud, the Taliban leader in Pakistan. On Saturday, a missile struck a compound used by Mehsud in South Waziristan, killing 30 people, but the Taliban leader was not among the reported victims. At 8:30 am on Monday, four missiles struck compounds in Sur Pul, near the regional centre of Parachinar. The village was being used as a base by Taliban militants loyal to Mehsud and his local commander, Hakimullah Mehsud, who is accused by government officials of attacking NATO supply convoys crossing the Khyber Pass from Pakistan into Afghanistan. The dead on Monday were likely to include militants from South Waziristan and Afghanistan, the government official said. "One missile fired by a suspected US drone destroyed the Taliban centre," a top security official told AFP. "Nine dead bodies were taken to Afghanistan, while the burial of 17 is under way in the area," a security official told AFP. It was the first suspected US drone attack in Kurram , one of seven semi-autonomous tribal areas in Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan, where the Taliban are fighting US-led, NATO and Western-backed Afghan forces. One security official said most of the dead were Afghan Taliban fighters and that commanders had been staying at the hideout, which was used to store weapons and lodge militants resting from bouts of fighting in Afghanistan. An official, and a resident who also sought anonymity, said remotely-piloted American drones had been seen in the area before the strike. The official added that the toll might rise as more bodies were pulled from the rubble. The authorities have complained that the American airstrikes undermine the support of civilians for the campaign to attack militants in the remote and lawless border areas. The authorities made their complaints known to President Obama's special envoy to the region, Richard C Holbrooke, who visited Pakistan last week before flying on to Afghanistan. But the strike on Monday, coupled with the attack on Saturday, suggested that the new administration in Washington had not abandoned tactics embraced by its predecessor.