A Pakistani army official says government troops have killed 18 militants who attacked a military checkpoint near the Afghan border.

Major General Waheed Arshad says Tuesday's violence erupted when around 40 militants fired at a military patrol in North Waziristan, in Pakistan's northwest.  The government troops responded, backed by helicopter gunships.

Also in North Waziristan today, four soldiers were abducted by suspected militants near the town of Bannu.

And in South Waziristan, a roadside bomb wounded six paramilitary soldiers Tuesday near the Afghan border. 

Violence has risen in Pakistan since security forces stormed the radical Red Mosque in the capital, Islamabad, earlier this month following a week long standoff.  More than 100 people were killed.

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