Suspected US missile strikes in Pakistan kill 8

Suspected US missiles pounded militant hideouts Thursday in the tribal belt near Afghanistan where Pakistani troops are building up for a major offensive against the country's top Taliban leader. The strikes, which killed at least eight people and were described by Pakistani officials and witnesses as coming from unmanned drone aircraft, appeared not to be directly connected to Pakistan's preparations in South Waziristan. But they came as Pakistan's military on Thursday continued its own airstrikes and shelling, which for days has pummeled suspected militant positions ahead of an expected attack by ground forces. The military said it had killed another 34 militants in its separate, seven-week-old offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley region.