Islamabad: In a heavy exchange of fire, one terrorist and three soldiers were killed in the Zarghoon area of Baluchistan on Saturday, Dawn reported citing the military's media affairs wing.

The gun battle took place when the security forces retaliated to the attack on one of their check-posts.

According to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, the early-morning attack by a group of terrorists was conducted against a post that was recently constructed to "help check extortion efforts targeting coal mines in the area."

According to the ISPR, security personnel "retaliated quickly to the fire," forcing the terrorists back, reported Dawn.

"Based on follow-up ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) effort, the likely hideout of fleeing terrorists has been identified in nearby mountains and a deliberate blocking and sanitisation operation has been launched," the ISPR statement read.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident that killed 3 soldiers.

The incident comes amid an increase in terrorist activity across the country, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan, since the proscribed terrorist outfit Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended the ceasefire with the government in November.

Six Pakistan Army personnel were killed earlier this month following an exchange of fire with terrorists in the Dir Duni area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's North Waziristan district, as the law and order across Pakistan continue to deteriorate.