Pakistani helicopter gunships and fighter jets pounded militant hide-outs in the country's northwest Saturday, killing at least 12 militants.

Security officials say the airstrikes targeted three suspected militant positions in Orakzai region, where a military transport helicopter crashed the day before, killing at least 26 military personnel.

Pakistani officials say the helicopter crashed Friday outside the city of Peshawar due to a technical failure.  But the Taliban claims it shot down the aircraft.

Elsewhere in the northwest, clashes between a pro-government tribal militia and militants killed at least 12 people late Friday in the remote Mohmand region, along the Afghan border.

Pakistan's military has been fighting Taliban militants throughout the country's northwest for more than two months.  Security officials also are on high alert following the launch this week of a major U.S. offensive against Taliban militants in neighboring Afghanistan.

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