Some 150 militants attacked five security posts in a tribal area near the Afghan border overnight, sparking a clash that killed three soldiers and 24 insurgents, the Pakistani military said on Friday.
The fighting in the Mohmand tribal area shows that insurgents in the region retain significant ability to coordinate and mount attacks, despite multiple military offensives against Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in Pakistan's northwest.
At least 12 soldiers also were wounded in the various clashes, said a statement from the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary division of Pakistan's armed forces.
The fighting ended by morning. Information from Pakistan's tribal regions is nearly impossible to verify independently because access is restricted and the conflict zones are dangerous. Mohmand has been a trouble spot for a years and the focus of multiple army operations. Its border location makes it a valuable transit point for insurgents seeking to travel to Afghanistan, where US and NATO forces are fighting.
A local government official in Mohmand confirmed the clashes, saying they occurred in the Baizai and Safi districts of the tribal region. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject to the media.