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Three Pakistani Soldiers, 23 Militants Dead In Clashes

Pakistani officials say three soldiers and at least 23 militants were killed after clashes in the country's northwestern tribal areas.

Fighting erupted in the Dalainey area of Orakzai tribal district, along the Afghan border, after Pakistani troops launched an assault to drive the militants from the area and retake control of strategic mountain points.

Officials said at least a dozen troops had also been injured.

It was not possible to confirm the death toll independently.

Orakzai is one of seven districts in Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal belt, where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have carved out strongholds used to launch attacks on targets inside Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

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