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Pakistan clashes claim 26 militants, militia leader

  • Security forces kill 8 militants after they attacked convoy in Orakzai Agency
  • Another 13 militants died after security forces swept through hideouts in northern Orakzai
  • Further five died after they used rockets to attack a security checkpost
  • Leader of a pro-government militia killed by remote-controlled bomb

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Violence ripped through Pakistan's tribal region Monday, with 26 militants killed in fighting and a pro-government militia leader killed by a bomb, officials told CNN.

Militants attacked a Pakistani security force convoy in the area of Meerobak in Orakzai Agency, one of the seven districts of Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan, two intelligence officials said.

Security forces fired back, killing eight militants and capturing four, officials said. Two soldiers were injured in the firefight.

In a separate incident, militants used rockets to attack a security checkpost near Kalaya in Orakzai. Security forces retaliated, killing five militants, said intelligence officials.

Pakistan security forces continued their offensive against militants in northern Orakzai, attacking three hideouts and killing 13 militants there, intelligence officials said. Helicopter gunships were used to carry out airstrikes there.

The officials asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Meanwhile, the leader of a pro-government militia, Malik Taj, was killed Monday evening in Pakistan's tribal region, according to Muhammad Afsar Khan, a member of that militia.

Khan said Taj was walking home from a meeting with other members of the militia when a remote-control bomb hidden on the side of the road was detonated, fatally injuring him.

The attack took place in the village of Laghari in Bajaur Agency, another district in the tribal region. Khan said five members of the militia and a girl were injured in the blast.

"The strategy to eliminate the Taliban from the area was discussed in the meeting," Khan said after the fatal blast.

The militias -- composed of local citizens, many of them considered influential in the region -- are often armed and supported by the Pakistan government to fight against the militants.

While the government does not pay them a salary, they are provided with other material support such as weapons and sometimes food. The local militias act as both fighters against the militants and informants for the security forces of Pakistan.

In another incident, in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, five policemen and a civilian were injured when a remote control bomb exploded in the province's Hangu district, police told CNN.

CNN's Kiran Khalid and Journalist Nasir Habib contributed to this report.