Islamabad: At least three Pakistani soldiers and seven militants were killed on Monday after they clashed during a security operation in the country`s tribal region of Bajaur, authorities said.
A group of heavily armed militants, hiding in mountains, fired at the security forces during the operation in Salarzai area bordering Afghanistan, Xinhua quoted security officials as saying. The security forces launched a counter attack and killed seven militants, they added.
Officials said that a captain was among the three security personnel killed in the attack. Two others were injured.
Bajaur had once been a stronghold of the Taliban militants and the security forces cleared most of the areas from the militants during the 2008 operation. However militants are believed to be hiding in some of the rugged mountains, carrying out attacks on the forces.
Officials said that most of the militants had fled to Afghanistan and now operate from the border region.
The government has launched an anti-terror drive following the Taliban attack on an army-run school that killed 140 children and 10 staff members in December last year.