Border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have risen since the Taliban seized power last year, with Islamabad claiming armed groups are carrying out regular attacks from Afghan soil.
No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack but suspicion fell on Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, a separate group from Afghanistan's Taliban.
Pakistani security forces were raiding suspected hideouts in the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan when four soldiers were killed "during an intense exchange of fire".
The militants attacked a Pakistani military post in the Datta Khel area of the district of North Waziristan, a former militant stronghold near the border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan cannot afford another conflict with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and has to devise a domestic political narrative that can justify a divorce from its previous policies.
Cases of the crippling disease have steadily increased in the country as attacks on health workers persist and fake news continues to circulate about the deaths of numerous children killed by the vaccine.
The merger of the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is a key step to ending the region's much-criticised colonial-era governance system.
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