On Friday two suspected U.S missile attacks claimed the lives of 18 people in Pakistan just east of the Afghan border.

This region is a lawless region and a hiding place for al-Qaida militants.

This is the first of its kind following the inauguration of President Barak Obama.

According to an intelligence officer interviewed by the Associated Press; 5 of the victims were foreign militants.

Pakistan's pro-U.S. leaders had expressed hope Obama would halt the attacks, which have reportedly killed several top al-Qaida operatives but triggered anger at the government by nationalist and Muslim critics.

The missiles are normally fired from spy planes believed to be launched from across the border in Afghanistan.

The United States rarely acknowledges firing the missiles, but there is little doubt it is responsible.

The White House is pressing Pakistan to crack down on militants in the border, which it blames for rising attacks on Western troops in Afghanistan as well as violence within Pakistan.