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Pakistani Army Retrieves Bodies of 15 Troops Killed by Islamists

Pakistan's military says it has retrieved the bodies of 15 soldiers killed in fighting with Islamist militants in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Officials say the fighting began late Sunday when militants attacked a Pakistani army post in the Shawal area of North Waziristan. The region is a stronghold of Taleban and al-Qaida fighters.

Pakistan's army says 16 militants also were killed in the battle, which continued on Monday.

In neighboring South Waziristan, Islamist militants are still holding about 250 Pakistani soldiers captured in the region last month.

Tribal elders are continuing talks with the militants to win the soldiers' release. The militants are demanding Pakistani security forces release detained fighters and pull out of the area.

Violence has surged in Pakistani tribal areas near the Afghan border following the collapse of a peace deal between Pakistan's government and pro-Taleban tribesmen.

Islamist militants have vowed revenge for the Pakistani army's assault on a radical mosque in Islamabad in July. The mosque raid killed a top cleric and more than 75 of his supporters.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.