Five Pakistani soldiers were killed in gunbattles with Islamist militants in the country's northwest bordering Afghanistan on Monday, the army said.

The statement said the deaths were in addition to two other soldiers who were killed the previous day. It said a total of 23 militants had also been killed in the last two days in what it described as intelligence-based operations on their hideouts in northwest Pakistan.

(Reporting by Asif Shahzad Editing by Peter Graff)