Despite $2 billion in U.S. military aid for an offensive against militants in North Waziristan, Pakistan claims it's too risky to launch an operation against Taliban and al Qaeda operatives in the remote tribal region, after having said for years that a lack of resources had delayed the offensive.
Three Taliban figures met secretly with Afghanistan's president two weeks ago in an effort by the Afghan government to weaken the U.S.-led coalition's most vicious enemy, a powerful al Qaeda-linked network that straddles the border region with Pakistan.
The Afghan government's reconciliation effort with the Taliban is being hamstrung by a lack of participants who wield clout within the militant group and a "peace council" viewed by many Afghans as more eager to maintain the status quo.
A suspected U.S. drone fired three missiles at a house in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing five alleged militants in the 14th such attack this month — the most intense barrage since the strikes began in 2004, intelligence officials said.
More than 20 insurgents including Arab, Chechen and Pakistani fighters have been killed by NATO and Afghan forces who are ramping up operations in the east against a Taliban faction linked to al-Qaida, the international coalition said Saturday.