Islamabad, Jan 01 (Agencies): Three US missile strikes on Saturday killed 12 suspected militants in Pakistan's restive tribal region, security officials said.

The attacks took place in the Mandi Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal district along the Afghan border, a haven for Taliban and Al Qaeda rebels.

A Pakistani intelligence official said on condition of anonymity that a pilotless aircraft fired two missiles at a compound and two at a vehicle in the Mandikhel area, 15 km north of the district's main town Mir Ali. Four people died in each attack.

Three more missiles were fired into a vehicle in the nearby Ghor Ghushti area, also killing four people.

It was the fourth drone strike in the last 24 hours. Five alleged Taliban insurgents died on Friday when two missiles hit their vehicle in the same district.

The US has increased airstrikes in North Waziristan as Pakistan is hesitant to launch a military operation against the militants. The district was the scene of most of the more than 100 drone attacks across the tribal region in 2010.

More than 600 people died in the air-raids. Intelligence officials say most of them were suspected militants, but verification of the claims is difficult since the area remains almost inaccessible for journalists and aid workers.