Peshawar, (Agencies): Seven foreign militants were killed as the US carried out the first drone strike in Pakistan's restive tribal belt since an American official was arrested last month for shooting two men in Lahore, officials said on Monday.

Unmanned spy planes targeted a militant compound in the volatile South Waziristan tribal region of northwest Pakistan early morning on Monday.

The drones fired four missiles at the compound in Kara Panga village near Wana, the headquarters of the region. All those killed are believed to be foreign fighters, officials said.

The attack was the first one after US official Raymond Davis was arrested in Lahore on January 27 for shooting and killing two men who he said were trying to rob him.

The last drone strike before Davis' arrest was carried out on January 23.

Reports said the US had halted attacks using spy planes so that anti-American sentiments would not increase in Pakistan after Davis' arrest.

The CIA had significantly stepped up the missile strikes in mid-2010 after Western intelligence agencies uncovered a plot by militants in Pakistan in which they planned to attack European cities.