Gunmen ambushed a Pakistani army convoy traveling in a tribal region filled with insurgent groups focused on the war in neighboring Afghanistan, killing seven soldiers, the military said Friday.

The attack Thursday could raise pressure on Islamabad to wage an offensive in the North Waziristan tribal region, which has largely escaped Pakistani army action in recent years despite US pressure for a crackdown.

The army statement said the attack occurred in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, and that the convoy was "carrying out a routine movement" to the area from the city of Miran Shah. Sixteen soldiers also were wounded in the attack, one of the worst known to have occurred against the army in the region in several months.

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