QUETTA, Pakistan — Assailants armed with assault rifles ambushed security forces as they patrolled a remote town in southwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least three troops and wounding eight others, the military said.

The attack took place near the town of Panjgoor in Baluchistan province, the military said in a statement. It said the dead and wounded troops were transported to a military hospital in the city of Quetta, and five of the wounded were listed in a critical condition.

It provided no further details and it was unclear whether troops returned fire.

A small separatist group, the Baluchistan Liberation Army, claimed responsibility.

In a statement, it insisted 20 troops were killed in the attack, but the group often exaggerates claims of troop casualties. However, it often targets security forces in Baluchistan, of which Quetta is a provincial capital.

The latest attack came two weeks after gunmen dispatched by the same group attacked the stock exchange in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, killing at least three people — two guards and a policeman. Special police forces who were deployed to the scene secured the building, killing all four gunmen.

Police at the time said the attackers were armed with grenades and automatic rifles.

Baluchistan has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by small separatists groups that have been demanding more autonomy and a greater share in the region's natural resources, such as gas and oil.