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Pakistani police commandos celebrate a successful operation against terrorists in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, July 17, 2014. Officials said police fought for more than 10 hours with militants planning to attack the prime minister's home in eastern Pakistan. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani official says a group of militants have attacked a security checkpoint in a troubled northwestern tribal region, killing eight security forces before fleeing.

A government administrator, Iqbal Khan, says the attack happened Friday in Jamrud, a main town in the Khyber tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

He says security forces returned fire and killed at least four assailants.

Khan says authorities had launched a major operation in Jamrud in an effort to find and arrest the assailants.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came at a time when the Pakistan army is carrying out a major offensive against local and foreign militants in the country's North Waziristan tribal region.

Jamrud is 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.