Pakistan security forces, backed by tanks and artillery, killed at least 20 suspected Taliban fighters in a clash in the northwestern region of Orakzai on Thursday, a government official said.
The latest fighting broke out when fighters attacked a patrol in a village near the border with Khyber agency, Mohammad Nauman, a government official in Orakzai's main town of Kalaya, told Reuters.
"It was a fierce clash that lasted for about three hours and the militant attack was repulsed," he said.
In all, 20 fighters and one soldier were killed in the fighting, he said. There was no independent confirmation of the deaths. Pakistani Taliban often dismiss military estimates of their casualties.
Pakistan has recently accelerated its military assault in Orakzai and neighbouring Khyber regions.
The United Nations said the operation has displaced 200,000 people in recent months. About 1.3 million have already been displaced.
According to military officials, the offensive in Orakzai has killed about 300 fighters.
ReutersLast Mod: 23 Nisan 2010, 10:22