Pakistan clashes kill 7 soldiers, 18 militants

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PARACHINAR, Pakistan (AP) -- A government official says militants have killed seven Pakistani paramilitary soldiers in an attack near the Afghan border.

The official, Jamil Khan, says that around 40 militants opened fire on a checkpoint in Kurram region on Friday. He says 18 insurgents were killed in retaliatory fire.

Kurram is one of the seven Pakistani border regions where the military has battled for several years against militants.

Fighting in Kurram over the past week has resulted in dozens of reported fatalities.

The region is off-limits to journalists so it is difficult to independently verify accounts.