Egyptian officials say the attack started when a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into the checkpoint in southern Rafah village of el-Barth, followed by heavy shooting by dozens of masked militants on foot. Picture: AP

El-Arish — Egyptian officials say at least 10 security troops have killed when a car bomb struck a military checkpoint followed by heavy gunfire in northeastern Sinai Peninsula.

The officials say that the Friday attack started when a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into the checkpoint in southern Rafah village of el-Barth, followed by heavy shooting by dozens of masked militants on foot. 

The dead included a high ranking special forces officer and at least 20 others were wounded in the attack.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorised to speak to the media. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Egypt has in recent years been battling a stepped-up insurgency in northern Sinai, mainly by militants from an Islamic State group affiliate.

Associated Press