Pakistani officials and militants say the leader of the Pakistani Taliban was apparently targeted in a U.S. missile strike on a meeting of militant commanders close to the Afghan border, but he escaped unhurt.
Twelve insurgents were believed killed in the attack in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region.
The death of Hakimullah Mehsud would have been a major victory for both Washington and Islamabad in their fight against Islamist militants.
Mehsud appeared on a video released last week sitting next to the Jordanian militant who killed seven CIA employees in a suicide attack in December in Afghanistan.
Mehsud's movement, Tehrik-e-Taliban, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, has also claimed responsibility for scores of suicide bombings in Pakistan in recent months against military, civilian, and government targets.
compiled from agency reports