MIRANSHAH  - At least eight people were killed and 15 others wounded in clashes between troops and militants in North Waziristan, officials said Monday.

Four militants and one soldier were killed when militants stormed a security forces checkpoint late Sunday in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan.

The military retaliated with an assault early Monday on suspected militant hideouts outside the town, but the attack left three civilians dead and 15 wounded, security officials said.

“Militants attacked our checkpoint in Miranshah on Sunday evening and killed one soldier, we retaliated... and shot dead four militants,” a senior security official told AFP.

On Monday morning “we fired shells and destroyed five shops in Datakhel near Miranshah,” from where military convoys had recently come under attack, he said.

Two security officials confirmed the civilian deaths in Monday’s attack, but the military refused to do so.

“Three civilians were killed and 15 were injured when the security forces fired shells at the suspected militant hideouts,” one of the officials said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Meanwhile, an indefinite curfew has been imposed across the area and military operation against the militants was under way.