Militants attacked a Pakistani military convoy in the country's troubled northwest on Sunday, injuring three soldiers, officials said, a day after a US drone strike killed 10 insurgents.
The attack triggered a gun battle that raged for more than two hours near Miranshah, the main town in the notorious militant stronghold of North Waziristan, with troops killing at least three militants, tribal police official Taj Mohammed told AFP.
Security officials confirmed the clash while witnesses said helicopters were seen circling overhead.
The convoy came under attack from about a dozen militants armed with rockets and automatic rifles, officials said, and followed a US drone strike on a militant compound in North Waziristan on Saturday in which at least 10 insurgents were killed.
Waziristan lies in northwestern Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt which Washington considers the main hub for Taliban and al-Qaeda to plot attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.
Pakistan says the drone strikes are counter-productive and undermine government efforts to separate tribes from militants, violate Pakistan's sovereignty, kill civilians and fuel anti-US sentiment.