Four army troops and as many militants were killed in a clash in Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan region on Sunday, the military said.
The clash occurred near Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan, near the border with Afghanistan, during a raid on a hideout and resulted in the death of four troops, the statement by Pakistan’s army said.
"As soon as the troops cordoned off the area, terrorist opened fire. All dug out terrorists were shot down by security forces, " the statement said, adding: "In exchange of fire, four soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom)."
North Waziristan – once dubbed the heartland of militancy – is one of seven former semi-autonomous tribal regions in Pakistan where the army has conducted a series of operations since 2014 to eliminate Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Successive operations have pushed the TTP towards neighboring Afghanistan, and Islamabad claims the terrorist network has now set up bases across the border to attack Pakistani security forces.
The military operations also displaced over a million people, but the government claims most of them have returned to their homes.
The tribal agencies were recently given the status of districts, and merged with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.