PESHAWAR - An unmanned US spy plane killed at least four people when it fired two missiles on a compound near a bakery in Miranshah Bazaar here on early Saturday.

Sources said the compound was adjacent to a bakery where some people had taken refuge. The predator drone fired two missiles at the compound and bakery near Miranshah Bazar in North Waziristan. The attack killed four suspected militants on the spot while the compound was completely destroyed.

The locals said some victims were buying goods from a bakery when missiles hit them. However, identities of the victims could not be ascertained.

Agencies add: “A US drone fired two missiles at a house and at least four militants were killed,” a senior security official told AFP. Residents said they were woken up by the sound of low flying aircraft and the noise of the missile strike.

“The house caught fire after missiles hit it and militants immediately cordoned off the area and were searching in the rubble,” a local tribesman told AFP, asking not to be named. Islamabad has been resisting US pressure to launch a sweeping offensive against militants in the area. Pakistan says the missile attacks are counter-productive, violate its sovereignty, kill civilians and fuel anti-US sentiment.

It was the fifth US drone strike reported in Pakistan since parliament in March demanded an end to such attacks.

Relations between the uneasy allies plunged into crisis after US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26.

 incident prompted Islamabad to shut its Afghan border to Nato supplies and evict US personnel from an airbase reportedly used as a hub for drones.

Despite Pakistani criticism US officials are believed to consider the drone attacks too useful to stop them altogether. They have argued that drone strikes are a valuable weapon in the war against Al-Qaeda and other militants.

Pakistan signalled last week that it was prepared to end the Nato blockade, but hopes of clinching a deal appeared to break down over the cost of transit rights.

US President Barack Obama snubbed Pakistan at a NATO summit this week, only seeing President Asif Ali Zardari in passing and voicing frustration with Islamabad.

Pakistan has been incensed by Washington’s refusal to apologise for the November airstrikes and US officials have so far rejected Pakistani proposals to charge several thousand dollars for each alliance truck crossing the border.

The blockade has forced Nato to rely on longer, more expensive routes through Russia and Central Asia, even as it plans a large-scale withdrawal of combat troops and hardware from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

According to an AFP tally, 45 US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan’s tribal belt in 2009, the year Obama took office, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011.

The New America Foundation think-tank in Washington says drone strikes have killed between 1,715 and 2,680 people in Pakistan in the past eight years.

4 killed in another Waziristan drone hit