The army says its troops have rescued 79 people who were among a group abducted by Taliban militants in northwester Pakistan.

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said Tuesday at least one person is still missing.

The group consisted of students, teachers and others linked to a boys school in North Waziristan tribal region.

Abbas says the militants planned to take the captives to South Waziristan, where there are rumors of a planned military offensive.

The number of hostages originally taken captive has been difficult to pin down, with some saying hundreds were abducted after a roadside ambush by militants.

Abbas says the group of 80 was being held in North Waziristan's Goryam area. He spoke briefly and did not give many details.