The Pakistani government strongly condemned a series of manned airstrikes on Pakistani soil, including two NATO attacks that officials say killed about 55 suspected insurgents over the weekend.
Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan have steered clear of North Waziristan, allowing the area to become a haven for militants. Tribal and local intelligence sources say some 15,000 militants shelter in this semiautonomous tribal belt. “It’s a cobweb,” says former Pakistani diplomat Ayaz Wazir. New alliances between militant commanders in Waziristan have turned this area into a dangerous labyrinth, from which fighters can launch suicide attacks in Pakistan or missions against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “It's an international war which has engulfed us,” says Malik Khan Marjan Wazir, an influential tribal elder in North Waziristan. “The volcano is in Afghanistan but it erupts in our tribal areas.” For Marjan Wazir, peace won't be found through military operations or drone attacks, but in negotiations at what he calls “real” jirgas (tribal assemblies). “My elders would always tell me a story that if a woolen blanket gets leeches, you don’t put to fire the whole blanket. You pluck them out with care.” Based on interviews with local tribesmen and intelligence sources, here’s a list of the five biggest players in the region:
The latest US drone attack killed 14 suspected militants in Pakistan, bringing the number of people killed by drones in September alone to 75 as the US targets the Haqqani network.
Listing the Pakistani Taliban as a terrorist group lets the US expand its campaign against the organization, which said it trained the attempted Times Square bomber and has vowed more attacks in the US.
Seven US soldiers were killed amid rising violence in the Afghanistan war, as well as a parliamentary candidate and five campaign workers. President Karzai's chief of staff also said the US must alter its strategy to defeat the Taliban.
A military judge ruled Monday that statements made by Omar Khadr, who is charged of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan, can be used in the trial, which is set to start Tuesday. Mr. Khadr's lawyers say the statements were coerced.
The reported death of Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Maulana Fazlullah brought relief to family members of his victims in Pakistan's Swat Valley, which he once ruled with an iron hand. But the Taliban deny he's dead.
Handsome Dan, Yale University's bulldog mascot, stands near future graduates during commencement at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., on Monday.
While presumed killed in a drone strike in January, Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is in fact alive, according to a senior intelligence official in Islamabad. It may set back the US drone program.
Marines from 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, conduct a night assault on targets at Al Qatrana, Jordan, during the Infinite Moonlight exercise in 1998.