Taliban ambushes and bombings killed at least seven Pakistani soldiers in the northwest as the military made a new push into the militants' last major stronghold near the border with Afghanistan, intelligence officers said Sunday, according to Reuters.
Pakistan began a major offensive in North Waziristan last summer to drive out Pakistani Taliban and other extremist militants who launch attacks on government and civilian targets.
The army is meeting fierce resistance as it moves further into the lower-lying areas of the Shawal Valley, the Taliban's last stronghold, military officials said.
Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, visited troops on Friday and said the initial phase around the surrounding peaks of the Shawal Valley was successful and it was now time to begin a final push into the lower areas.
'We will not stop unless we achieve our end objective of a terror-free Pakistan,' he said.