Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships have pounded suspected militant hideouts near the border with Afghanistan.

The violence Friday is the latest in a series of attacks in the North Waziristan area, where the Pakistani military has been battling Taleban and al-Qaida militants. There has been no official word on casualties.

This assault comes as local and military officials continue to search for 16 missing soldiers believed to be kidnapped by Taleban militants. The men disappeared on Thursday while traveling to a military base in South Waziristan in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region.

Also on Thursday, Pakistani security forces said at least 10 militants were killed during a military operation in North Waziristan. A military spokesman says the militants were killed while fleeing the site of a roadside bombing that wounded five soldiers.

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