Officials in Pakistan say pro-Taleban militants have released at least 25 of nearly 250 Pakistani soldiers held captive near the Afghan border since late August.
Officials say the militants handed over the soldiers to a tribal council of elders (or jirga) on Friday near Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal region.
The militants have demanded that Pakistani security forces release detained fighters and pull out of the tribal region in return for the freeing of more soldiers.
The capture of the troops in late August as they traveled in the region has been an embarrassment for Pakistan's army as it struggles to contain a recent upsurge in violence near the Afghan border.
The violence follows the collapse of a peace deal in July between Pakistan's government and pro-Taleban tribesmen.