The US drones fired two missiles on a compound in the village of Dargah Mandi in North Waziristan, destroying a house and killing seven people.
Security sources said all those killed were insurgents. The location of the attack is known as a stronghold of the Haqqani network, which regularly attacks US forces in Afghanistan from its mountain hideouts in Pakistan.
An intelligence source in the region said Sangeen Zadran, a senior Haqqani commander who also served as the Taliban's shadow governor of Afghanistan's Paktika province, was among the dead.
In a sign of how deeply Taliban-linked militants are entrenched in the tribal areas, mosques in Miranshah, the main regional town, made loudspeaker announcements that a funeral prayer for Zadran would be offered.
The US placed Zadran, who was 45, on its list of global terrorists in 2011. He had long been accused of involvement in bomb attacks and assaults on US bases in eastern Afghanistan and orchestrating kidnappings of Afghan and foreign nationals in border areas.