Islamabad: Security forces killed at least three suspected terrorists overnight in Quetta, capital of Pakistan’s restive Balochistaqn province, in an ongoing operation against militants, officials said on Tuesday.

The spokesman of Frontier Corps in Balochistan told the state broadcaster the militants opened fire when soldiers raided their hideout in the Hazar Ganji area of Quetta.

He said the three militants killed in the exchange of fire had been involved in targeted killings in the provincial capital.

Automatic weapons and hand grenades were recovered from their possession, the spokesman said.

The Frontier Corps and police have arrested 39 suspected militants during a joint search operation in Killi Deba area of Quetta, he said.

Balochistan has been plagued for long by a low-scale separatist insurgency involving ethnic Baloch militant groups.

Insurgents have continually carried out attacks on security forces as well as civilians and also indulged in acts of sabotage.

Recently dozens of insurgents reportedly surrendered to the authorities in response to offers they would get financial assistance and would be rehabilitated.

In a follow-up the provincial government announced general amnesty for those who renounce violence and lay down arms.

Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Tuesday renewed accusations that India is helping the elements disturbing peace in Balochistan.

Talking to a private television channel in Islamabad, he said that “Indian’s involvement in spreading terrorism in Pakistan” would be highlighted at the international fora.”

The minister vowed that “our armed forces are fully capable to foil nefarious designs of the enemy.”