A group of militants attacked a security checkpoint in a troubled northwestern tribal region of Pakistan before dawn on Friday, sparking a shootout in which eight security forces and four militants were killed, a government official said.
A government administrator, Iqbal Khan, said the attack happened in Jamrud, a main town in the Khyber tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Security forces quickly retaliated and killed at least four assailants, he said.
Khan said authorities had launched a major operation in Jamrud in an effort to find and arrest the assailants.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came at a time when the Pakistan army is carrying out a major offensive against local and foreign militants in the country’s North Waziristan tribal region.
The military says it has killed nearly 500 militants since launching the June 15 operation, while it has lost 26 soldiers.
Jamrud is 40 kilometres west of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.