Seventeen people were killed and two others wounded in a U.S. drone strike in the North Waziristan tribal area, Pakistani authorities told Efe Wednesday.

The target of the overnight attack was a "Taliban center" in the Darpakhel zone, a member of the Tribal Agencies coordination body said.

The fatalities include Sher Khan, a commander of an Afghan insurgent group known as the Haqqani network, another official told Efe.

With thousands of fighters, the Haqqani network launches attacks on government and NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan from strongholds in North Waziristan.

The Pakistani government "energetically" condemned the attack in Darpakhel and repeated its demand that the United States put a halt to drone strikes, as they are "counterproductive and accompanied by the loss of the lives of innocent civilians."

Islamabad's complaints about drone strikes have grown louder since new Premier Nawaz Sharif took office following May's general elections.

U.S. drone strikes have killed nearly a hundred people in Pakistan so far this year, compared with 55 in all of 2012. EFE