Pakistani troops have killed at least ten Islamic militants in an operation to clear Taliban forces from a northwestern region near the Afghan border, the military said on Friday. Authorities launched the offensive in the increasingly troubled district of Hangu on Wednesday after Taliban insurgents occupying the area killed 17 paramilitary troops in an ambush. Pakistan is under intense pressure from the United States and other Western allies to crack down on Taliban forces on its side of the porous border with Afghanistan. "Ten militants have been killed and five army troops injured since the launch of the operation," chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told Agencies.