Eight Egyptian security personnel, five militants killed in Sinai attack

Members of the Egyptian security forces take position on a sand dune during an operation in the northern Sinai peninsula. (AFP)

Eight Egyptian security personnel and five militants were killed on Wednesday following an attack at a checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula, part of a long-running extremist insurgency, the interior ministry said.

"Eight killed and three wounded were transferred to El-Arish public hospital. All of the victims were Central Security Force personnel," a medical source told AFP.

A security source said reinforcements had been dispatched to the checkpoint and gun fire was being exchanged.

"The checkpoint is currently surrounded by the army and police," he said.

Egyptian state television said there were fears the death toll could rise as there were reports of attacks on multiple checkpoints.

Another security source confirmed four bodies had been transferred earlier to a hospital mortuary in the North Sinai provincial capital al-Arish.

He told AFP there were fears the death toll would rise as there were reports of attacks on multiple checkpoints.

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

No group has claimed responsibility so far for the early morning attack and authorities have not yet commented.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:59 - GMT 06:59