Three Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred in an exchange of fire with terrorists across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kurram district on Tuesday, the military’s media affairs wing said in a statement.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (​ISPR), terrorists inside Afghanistan opened fire on Pakistani troops in the general area of Kharlachi. Pakistan Army troops responded in a “befitting manner”, it said.

During the exchange of fire, three soldiers identified as 32-year-old Naik Muhammad Rehman, 34-year-old Naik Maweez Khan, and 27-year-old Sepoy Irfan Ullah, having fought gallantly, embraced martyrdom, the ISPR statement said.

“As per credible intelligence reports, due to fire of own troops, terrorists suffered heavy casualties.”

The military’s media wing said it strongly condemned the “use of Afghan soil by terrorists for activities against Pakistan”, adding that it expected the Afghan government not to “allow the conduct of such activities in the future”.

“Pakistan Army is determined to defend Pakistan’s borders against the menace of terrorism and such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve,” the ISPR added.

AFP reported that the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the attack and demanded that the Afghan government should stop terrorists from carrying out operations from its border.

He expressed grief over the martyrdom of the Pakistan Army soldiers and paid tribute to them for their strong response against the cross-border terrorists.

Last month, a Pakistan Army soldier embraced martyrdom in Lower Dir as militants stepped up attacks against security forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Separately, two army soldiers also lost their lives in Harnai, Baluchistan the same day during a gun battle with terrorists.