ISLAMIST militants ambushed paramilitary soldiers patrolling a tribal area along the Afghan border, triggering a shootout that left two troops and five insurgents dead.

A Pakistani security official said the clash happened overnight in the Shaheedano Dhand area of Kurram tribal region.

The Pakistani army recently said it intends to launch a new offensive against insurgents in Kurram.

The security official did not specify the number of militants involved.

Pakistan’s army has staged several operations against al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Kurram and other parts of the tribal belt, but the militants have proved a resilient foe.