Five alleged Pakistani militants connected to the Taliban warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur were killed in a drone strike Saturday as the United States pressured Pakistan to attack Taliban forces that may become the country’s crucial allies once foreign forces leave.

A Pakistani general confirmed his military would strike those elements, located in the North Waziristan region of northwest Pakistan, only if such an attack coincided with the country’s interests.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Associated Press via The Guardian:

The US has pushed Pakistan repeatedly to take such a step, and earlier this week US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told the Associated Press that Pakistan was preparing an operation targeting the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan.

Pakistan has been reluctant to undertake an offensive there, saying its military is already overtaxed by fighting in other tribal areas. But many in the US believe Pakistan does not want to upset the many militant groups there, such as the Haqqani network, that could be useful allies in Afghanistan after foreign forces leave.

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