Pakistan troops kill 20 militants in northwest

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PARACHINAR, Pakistan (AP) -- A Pakistani government official says security forces have killed at least 20 militants after coming under attack near the Afghan border.

Wajid Khan says 22 troops were also wounded in Thursday's gunbattle in the northwestern Kurram tribal region.

He says the fighting began when a group of Pakistani militants attacked a security post. The troops returned fire and killed 20 militants.

The death toll could not be independently confirmed as the fighting was in a remote mountainous area that is off-limits to journalists.

Kurram is considered a main base for the Pakistani Taliban. Scores of insurgents are believed to hiding there after escaping military operations in the nearby tribal regions in recent years.