Egyptian security officials say four policemen and four militants have been killed during clashes in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula.

The officials said that militants armed with explosives and RPGs attacked a checkpoint at the entrance to el-Arish city on Saturday. They said another 10 policemen were wounded.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief media.

Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency quoted an unnamed official as saying that police thwarted the attack and confirmed the militants’ death. It didn’t report any casualties among the police. It also said other militants fled after the attack.

In February, Egypt began a nationwide anti-militant operation mainly focused on the turbulent Sinai, the epicenter of a years-long Islamic insurgency spearheaded by the Islamic State group’s local affiliate.

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