An uneasy calm has returned to a semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan where three days of fierce clashes between security forces and pro-Taleban militants killed more than 120 militants and five soldiers.

The government says troops gained control of the region's main town of Miran Shah Tuesday, while talks between tribal elders and militants' representatives were continuing.

However, a curfew imposed on the town Monday remained in force, although there were no reports of renewed fighting.

Army helicopter-gunships continued to circle overhead, while thousands of terrified residents fled the area fearing that violence could return.

The French news agency quotes a government official as saying Pakistani troops were searching for two pro-Taleban clerics accused of instigating the fighting near the Afghan border.

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