Islamabad: A Filipino militant wanted by the United States is believed to have been killed in an American missile attack in Pakistan close to the Afghan border earlier this month.

Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking anonymously, have named Abdul Basit Usman as one of those killed in the attack targeting Taliban fighters.

US officials do not often talk about the missile strikes or their targets, but they have in the past confirmed the deaths of several Al Qaida and Taliban fighters.

Most of the missiles are fired from unmanned drone aircraft launched from Afghanistan.

American Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday that "unmanned aerial vehicles have been extremely useful to us, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan."