Egyptian soldiers patrol near the sites attacked on Jan. 29, in Arish, North Sinai Province, Egypt, on Jan. 31, 2015. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday strongly condemned Thursday's terrorist attacks in Sinai, Egypt, of which the death toll rose to 33. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
Egyptian soldiers patrol near the sites attacked on Jan. 29, in Arish, North Sinai Province, Egypt, on Jan. 31, 2015. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday strongly condemned Thursday's terrorist attacks in Sinai, Egypt, of which the death toll rose to 33. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

At least eight Egyptian security men were killed on Wednesday when militants opened fire at a checkpoint in the North Sinai province, state media reported.

“One officer, one conscript and six soldiers were killed and three other security men were wounded in the attack. The wounded were transferred to El-Arish Public Hospital,” a security official told Xinhua.

The exchange of fire has left five militants killed, he added.

“The checkpoint is currently surrounded by the army and police,” the official said.

The security forces have been combing the area to trace the fled gunmen, the report added.

The attack came at the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Egypt has been battling anti-security attacks since the army-led ouster of the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 in response to mass protests against his rule.

Hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been killed in militant attacks that were mostly claimed by an Islamic State branch in Sinai Peninsula.

In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide operation against the militants mainly on the North Sinai. At least 700 militants and 50 security men have been killed since the start of the operation. Enditem

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