(Updates death toll)
KALAYA, Pakistan, Aug 14 (Reuters) - At least 20 militants and five soldiers were killed when Pakistani forces and a group of militants clashed in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, military officials said.
The skirmish, which took place in the Ghaljo area of the northwestern Orakzai tribal region, began when militants ambushed a Pakistani military patrol.
Officials said 18 soldiers were wounded in the ambush.
The death toll could not be independently verified, and militants often dispute official figures.
The Pakistan military has been conducting operations against militants in Orakzai for months.
Several militant groups are active in Pakistan's northwestern semi-autonomous tribal regions, near the border with Afghanistan, including the Pakistan Taliban, responsible for many of the bombings across the country in recent years. (Reporting by Hasan Mehmood in KALAYA; Additional reporting by Saud Mehsud in DERA ISMAIL KHAN and Ali Afzaal in PARACHINAR; Writing by Qasim Nauman; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)