Pakistan's military said on February 12 that a group of militants had attacked a security post in the northwest of the country, killing four troops in the ensuing shootout along with four insurgents.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the overnight attack in Makeen, a former Taliban stronghold near the border with Afghanistan.
"Troops responded promptly and killed four terrorists," the Inter-Services Public Relations, the military's media wing, said in a statement.
The mountainous region, in the former tribal region of South Waziristan, was a headquarters for foreign and local militants until Pakistan's army claimed to have mostly cleared it of insurgents about three years ago.
Such attacks have rekindled fears that the Pakistani Taliban might be regrouping along the disputed, 2,400-kilometer Pakistani-Afghan border.
Locals complain that militants are once again returning to their areas and some groups are also involved in targeted killings.
The army said after the February 11-12 incident that troops were still searching the area for militants.
Pakistan's South Waziristan was once the headquarters of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The Pakistani military has conducted numerous operations to expel the TTP.
The operations and Taliban-related incidents of insecurity also displaced thousands of tribesmen from their areas.
Meanwhile, a tribal elder was killed in an attack by unidentified armed men in the neighboring district of North Waziristan on February 11.
Haji Gul Rehman was a prominent elder in Ghulam Khan area of North Waziristan.
Shafiullah Gandapur, police chief of North Waziristan tribal district, told Radio Mashaal that the attackers managed to escape the crime scene.
He said a case has been registered and investigations were under way.
According to a tally collected by Radio Mashaal correspondents in the area, 46 targeted killings were reported in North Waziristan in 2020. The killing of Gul Rehman is the fourth such attack in North Waziristan this year.