Government aircraft in Pakistan are continuing attacks against Taliban positions in the Swat Valley in the north of the country.
Thousands of people are reported to be taking advantage of a break in a curfew to get out of the region. Authorities say the number of people fleeing their homes could reach half a million. A peace deal in February aimed at ending violence in Swat has collapsed, and the government is now stepping up attacks on militants. Dozens of people are reported to have been killed in the latest strikes. The latest developments come as the US pushes for more Afghan-Pakistani cooperation against al Qaeda and Taliban militants. But talks in Washington were overshadowed by the deaths of dozens of Afghan civilians in the Farah province this week, reportedly in US-led airstrikes. The US Secretary of State expressed her deep regret for the incident. At yesterday’s meeting with the Afghan and Pakistani leaders, President Obama vowed he would make every effort to avoid civilian deaths. He also promised to defeat the militants, and said the other leaders “fully appreciate” the seriousness of the threat.