Seven Pakistani soldiers were killed and three others wounded in a Taliban attack on their check post in the country's north-western tribal belt, security officials said yesterday.
The overnight attack on Shidano Dand post in the Kurram region triggered clashes in which 18 militants were also killed, according to a senior military official.
"Armed militants stormed the post around midnight and killed seven soldiers," said the official, who did not want to be named, adding that troops retaliated killing 18 militants.
Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan in a telephone call to AFP claimed responsibility for the raid, saying 12 Frontier Corps soldiers were killed and four others captured by militants.
"We carried out this attack to avenge the killing of our commander Taj Gul in Khyber agency," Ehsan said, without giving details when he was killed and his significance to the group.
Independent confirmation of death tolls is very difficult in the tribal area, a Taliban and al-Qaeda stronghold barred to journalists and aid workers.
The post is located between Kurram and North Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border, a zone considered a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.
The region has experienced a spike in clashes in recent weeks.
On Tuesday dozens of heavily armed Taliban militants attacked a Pakistani military post in the area, sparking clashes that killed eight soldiers and wounded another 15, the military said.