ISLAMABAD – Backed by helicopter gunships, Pakistani troops on Saturday killed 14 militants following an attack on army posts near the Afghan border, two army officers and a government official said.
The attack began after dozens of insurgents sneaked across the border into Pakistan's northwestern tribal region of Bajur and hit at least two military checkpoints, killing one soldier and wounding two others, local government administrator Shah Naseem said.
Naseem said the attackers were armed with heavy weapons and targeted several military posts in Nao Top border village, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Khar, the main town in Bajur.
The attack in Bajur prompted a gunbattle, which was still underway hours later, two army officers told The Associated Press.
Pakistani troops were fighting "effectively and responding to attack," the officers said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.
Pakistan and Afghanistan share a volatile and porous border that is often the scene of cross-border attacks. Militants from both countries also cross the border to use the neighboring country's soil as a safe haven.
The area is remote and off limits to reporters, making it difficult to independently confirm information about fighting or military operations in the tribal regions.