ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A pre-dawn attack in Pakistan's tribal area killed five Pakistani soldiers and 21 suspected militants, the military said Friday.
The deadly fighting started when a check point came under attack in the village of Kalaya in northern Orakzai district, according to a statement from Inter Services Public Relations, which coordinates military information for the media.
"Security forces counter attacked and recaptured that check post," the statement said.
Under pressure from the United States, Pakistan has launched an offensive against militant strongholds in South Waziristan and Bajaur, two of seven troubled tribal districts along the Afghan border.
Orakzai district served as a base for Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who is believed to have been killed earlier this year, though the Taliban denies the death. It has felt the sting of Pakistan's military operation with recent airstrikes that have targeted fleeing Taliban fighters and their commanders.