Pakistani troops killed at least 24 militants after some 150 Taliban attacked a military checkpost in the northwest on Friday, challenging government assertions crackdowns have weakened the group. A senior military officer and four paramilitary soldiers were also killed in the attack in the Orakzai, a day after Pakistani jets killed nearly 50 people, mostly militants, in strikes on a school and an Islamic seminary in the same region, a government official said. Fourteen soldiers were wounded in the Taliban assault. In the latest attack, up to 150 Taliban launched a pre-dawn assault on a security checkpost in Orakzai. "They attacked from three sides which continued for nearly three hours in which a lieutenant colonel and four other security officials were killed," said government official Khaista Rehman. "Security forces launched the counter-attack in which 24 militants have been killed," he said. A paramilitary official, who declined to be identified, confirmed the attack took place but said as many as 30 militants may have been killed. Army helicopter gunships later struck suspected militant hideouts in Orakzai. Local government official Sami Ullah said the fighting occurred after dawn Friday when militants attacked a checkpoint. He said at least 27 militants died. The two accounts could not immediately be reconciled. Access to the remote, dangerous region is heavily restricted, making it nearly impossible to verify the accounts independently. On Thursday, jet fire rained down in the Mamuzai area of Orakzai, targeting a religious seminary, a mosque and a school, local official Samiullah Orakzai said. Two intelligence officials said the seminary was a main center for Tableeghi Jamaat, a nonviolent Islamic missionary group. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters. The center was targeted because a group of Taliban leaders were believed to be meeting there in the afternoon, the officials said. Some four dozen people died in the airstrikes in and around the seminary, while 13 others were killed in morning strikes at the two other sites. The officials said all 61 killed were suspected militants. It was not immediately known if there were any fresh casualties in the air strikes.