Militants killed eight Egyptian policemen on Wednesday (June 5th) at a checkpoint in North Sinai, where Egyptian forces have been battling the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), AFP reported.
"Terrorist elements targeted a checkpoint west of al-Arish early this morning... The exchange of fire killed five terrorist elements and eight police were martyred," the interior ministry said in a statement.
Some militants escaped and security forces are following their movements, the ministry added.
A security source said reinforcements had been dispatched to the checkpoint near the North Sinai provincial capital of al-Arish.
"The checkpoint is currently surrounded by the army and police," he said.
A medical source said three members of the Central Security Force, a paramilitary force under the control of the interior ministry, were also wounded in the attack and taken to al-Arish public hospital.
Egyptian state television said there were fears the death toll could rise as there were reports of attacks on multiple checkpoints.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which came at the start of Eid al-Fitr.