WASHINGTON - The CIA had militant leader Sirajuddin Haqqani in drone sights last year but chose not to fire a missile at him because women and children were nearby, according to a dispatch in an American newspaper. The Chicago Tribune, citing a senior Pakistani official familiar with the drone programme, said the incident was one of at least three occasions in the past six months when a militant was identified on video and a shot was available, but the US officials decided not to fire in an effort to avoid civilian casualties. The dispatch noted that killing civilians in drone attacks on insurgents in Pakistans tribal regions has generated a powerful anti-American backlash across the country. The anger has been a severe public relations problem for both the Obama administration and the government of President Asif Ali Zardari, who subscribe to a delicate arrangement under which Pakistan authorities help with intelligence information for the strikes but officially deny involvement, it said. The Pakistani official, who spoke on condition he not be named, was quoted as saying allowing high-value targets to escape reflected a decision by the US since August to use greater caution in the drone strikes. A strike Aug 22 destroyed a militant hideout in North Waziristan, killing 13 members of the Afghan Taliban but also four women and three children who were living among them, according to Pakistani intelligence officials.