Three troops, 23 militants dead in Pakistan clash: officials
An operation to clear Taliban from a volatile area of Pakistan's northwest left three soldiers and 23 militants dead on Tuesday, officials said.
Armed fighting erupted in the Dalainey area of Orakzai tribal district, along the Afghan border, after troops launched their assault.
"During the clash, 23 militants were killed while three security personnel embraced shahadat (martyrdom)," a senior official of the paramilitary Frontier Corps told AFP.
"Eighteen security personnel were also wounded in the clash."
The operation to drive the militants from the area and retake control of important mountain heights had been successful, another official said.
It was not possible to confirm the death toll independently because the far-flung district is inaccessible to media and aid workers.
Orakzai is one of seven districts in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt, where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have carved out strongholds used to plot attacks on Pakistan.
Pakistan has lost more than 3,000 soldiers in the fight against homegrown insurgents but has resisted US pressure to do more to eliminate havens used by those fighting the Americans in Afghanistan.