Police in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, say at least two police officers and three militants have been killed in an intense gunbattle.

Authorities say security forces surrounded a building Tuesday in a suburb of the southern port city where they traded fire with a small group of militants.

Police said the dead included Qasim Turi, a militant leader accused of links to a banned Sunni Muslim extremist groups, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jundullah, and a 2004 assassination attempt on a military commander.

Earlier today, Pakistani intelligence officials said a missile strike on a suspected militant hideout in a tribal region near the Afghan border killed at least 12 people.

Neither the Pakistani military nor government has officially commented on today's strike on a village Khushali Torikhel in North Waziristan. Residents said the dead were not militants but tribesmen staying at the house of a local elder.

In the past, similar missile strikes have been attributed to pilotless American drones. Pakistan and the United States deny such operations take place.

In neighboring South Waziristan, a soldier was killed today in a clash with Muslim militants.

Violence has spread in Pakistan's tribal area near the Afghan border in recent months. The region is believed to be a sanctuary for al-Qaida and Taliban militants.

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