A dozen militants ambushed a Pakistani military patrol in the northwestern tribal badlands Monday, killing three soldiers and sparking deadly clashes, officials said. The incident took place in Kasha village in Orakzai, the district where the military said on June 1 that major combat operations as part of an anti-Taliban offensive were over. "Three soldiers of the Frontier Corps were killed and five others wounded in the attack," an official from the paramilitary told AFP. Around a dozen militants attacked the convoy, triggering a gunfight which killed more than 10 rebels, the official added. A senior military official confirmed the incident and said it took place while FC men were on a routine patrol. Independent confirmation of casualty figures is impossible because the area is a military zone closed to aid workers and journalists. Pakistani forces opened a new front in Orakzai on March 24 in an attempt to flush out Taliban who escaped a major assault last year on South Waziristan, a headquarters for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership.