Egypt has for years been battling armed groups in the north of the Sinai Peninsula [File: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters]

Fighters have killed eight Egyptian security personnel at a security checkpoint in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, the interior ministry said.

“Terrorist elements targeted a checkpoint west of El Arish early this morning… The exchange of fire killed fire terrorist elements and eight police were martyred,” a ministry statement said on Wednesday.

Some fighters escaped and security forces are following “their movements”, the ministry added.

“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 the AFP news agency.

Egyptian state TV said there were fears the death toll could rise as

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