Islamabad: At least eight Taliban militants were killed and around a dozen more were injured on Sunday in clashes in Pakistan`s tribal region bordering Afghanistan, government officials said.
The clashes took place in Orakzai, one of the seven districts in the region where the military is conducting offensives against Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.
Khaista Akbar, an official in Orakzai, said the troops held back a pre-dawn attack on a security check post in Lower Orakzai, killing nine rebels and wounding 11.
He said helicopter gunships and artillery pounded Taliban positions following the raid.
Pakistani troops moved into Orakzai district late last month to hunt down militants fleeing an earlier offensive in the neighbouring South Waziristan district.
According to official data, more than 400 Islamist insurgents, many of them al Qaeda linked fighters of Arab and central Asian origin, have been killed so far.
The figures cannot be independently verified because journalists are restricted in the region.
The US has praised Pakistan`s efforts against Islamist militancy in tribal districts, as it intensified missile strikes by unmanned aircraft across the mountainous region.
Seven insurgents died when a drone strike destroyed a militant compound in North Waziristan district late Saturday. Several more were injured, the military said.
Also on Saturday, suspected Islamist gunmen attacked a caravan of tankers carrying oil supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan in Pakistan`s eastern province of Punjab.
Six tankers were destroyed while six more were saved when their drivers sped away the tankers. The attackers killed three policemen and wounded one other.