He said the attack was "an act of terrorism".
 
Suicide attacks, while becoming more freqent against Nato forces in Afghanistan, have been rarely used against the Pakistani military.
 
The attack happened near the Kagori checkpoint on the outskirts of Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, an intelligence official said.
 
The government and local tribal elders signed a peace deal in the area in September.
 
Since 2003, the Pakistani army has been carrying out operations in the tribal areas against pro-Taliban tribesmen and suspected al-Qaeda fighters.
 
Last week, Baitullah Mehsud, a tribal leader in South Waziristan, vowed to attack Pakistani security forces to avenge an air raid by the Pakistani military on a suspected al-Qaeda base in the Zamzola area.
 
The attack killed up to 20 militants, according to Pakistani intelligence sources.
 
Villagers in the region said only the bodies of eight civilians were found.