Pakistani police say at least 23 soldiers and 35 militants were killed in a daylong battle that started when militants attacked a remote checkpoint on the border with Afghanistan.
Police said the clash began on June 1 when about 200 militants crossed the border from Afghanistan and besieged the border post in Shaltalu, in the district of Upper Dir. Police said the situation was brought under control by noon today.
Two years ago, the military launched an offensive against the Taliban in the northwestern Malakand region, which includes Dir. Hundreds of Taliban then fled to neighboring Afghanistan.
The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, meanwhile said today in Washington that it would be dangerous for the United States to abandon its ally Pakistan.
Relations between Washington and Islamabad have been strained after U.S. special forces killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in a raid inside Pakistan.
compiled from agency reports