QUETTA - Security forces killed at least 10 militants, suspected of involvement in attacks on government troops, in the Balochistan city of Panjgur on Monday, paramilitary officials said.

The Frontier Corps, the main state security force in the province, said it launched an operation against militant hideouts in the mountainous Panjgur district on Monday morning.

“Ten militants were killed in heavy exchange of fire this morning,” said Frontier Corps spokesman Wasay Khan. “Several militant hideouts were destroyed and three soldiers were also wounded.”

The FC spokesman said that three hideouts of the militants and two vehicles were also destroyed in the operation carried out in adjoining areas of Awaran and Panjgur.

Militants belonged to outlawed Lashkar-e-Balochistan and Baloch Liberation Front.

He said that FC Special Wing, Awaran Militia and Panjgur Rifles took part in the operation in which helicopter was also used.

The FC spokesman said that targeted operation against militants will continue in future as well.

It was impossible to verify official accounts as journalists and independent observers are not allowed to operate freely in Balochistan.

The operation took place after Latif Johar, a member of the Baloch Students Organisation (Azad), went on hunger strike 11 days ago to demand the release of the group’s chairman and more than 100 detained members. In the past three years, bodies of hundreds of members of Baloch political parties, student groups and poets have been discovered across the province, and many more are still missing.