"There has been fierce fighting throughout the night. Militants fired rocket propelled grenades while troops responded with artillery and tank fire," local police official Fareed Khattak was quoted by news agency as saying.
"We have a figure of 22 militants dead and 14 arrested," he added.
The attack was part of a broader campaign against militants in Pakistan, a regional ally which Washington sees as key to defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Pakistan's army went on the offensive in the ethnic Pashtun tribal region of South Waziristan on the Afghan border on Oct 17, aiming to root out militants.