Pakistan military: 23 militants killed in clashes with troops; residents say civilians killed

Military officials in Pakistan say soldiers killed 23 militants during clashes in the North Waziristan tribal area, though residents say many civilians are among the dead.

The officials said Thursday that their forces killed the militants late Wednesday after a convoy going to aid soldiers wounded in a suicide attack came under fire. They said three security personnel were wounded in the clash.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Two residents in the town of Mir Ali where the clashes happened, Akhtar Khan and Arif Dawar, disputed the military's claims. They said many of the dead were civilians.

North Waziristan is a remote and dangerous part of Pakistan near Afghanistan, making it difficult for journalists to independently report from there.