A soldier stands guard on a road while a vehicle carrying internally displaced people flee military operations in Tora Warai, a town in Kurram Agency.—Reuters/File

PESHAWAR: Six Pakistani soldiers and 17 Taliban militants were killed in an overnight clash in a northwestern tribal district near the Afghan border, officials said Wednesday.

Some 50 Taliban fighters attacked Pakistani troops during a search operation in Jogi village of central Kurram tribal district late Tuesday, officials said.

“Six soldiers were killed and four injured in the clash. Troops repelled the attack and killed 17 militants,” Sher Bahadar Khan, a local government official in Kurram told AFP.

The militants were Pakistani Taliban, he said.

A senior official of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps confirmed the attack, and the casualties, and added that troops had taken control of the area.

Independent confirmation of the death toll was not immediately possible as the lawless tribal region is barred for journalists .

In July last year Pakistan launched an offensive in Kurram district to evict militants.

Troops are still engaged in a search and cordon operation after clearing most of the area.

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