MULTAN, Pakistan — Pakistan's counterterrorism police said they killed two militants belong to an al-Qaeda subcontinent chapter in an overnight operation in eastern Punjab province.

In a statement Saturday, police said the militants had plans to carry out "subversive activities" in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan. The intelligence-based operation was underway at the militants' hideout in Choti Bala area when they opened fire on the raiding party, triggering a shootout, said Imran Asghar, a counterterrorism official.

He said that two other militants escaped in the dark and police seized arms and ammunition.

The Dera Ghazi Khan district is where Pakistan's three provinces - Baluchistan, Sindh and Punjab - meet, and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is not far. Militants from insurgency-wrecked Baluchistan and fighters linked to the banned Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, often take shelter in the district.