CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Six Egyptian soldiers and 12 gunmen were killed in armed clashes in the North Sinai Peninsula on Monday morning, Egyptian security sources told Ma'an.
The sources said gunmen believed to be affiliated to the Sinai Province group, ambushed an armored army vehicle on the main road to the village of Abu Tawila south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid.
An Egyptian captain identified as Abdullah Ali Najib, 28, and four soldiers were killed in the attack.
An Egyptian army commando killed three gunmen after they opened fire at the armored vehicle.
Meanwhile, a lieutenant identified as Mahmoud Faris, 25, was shot dead during clashes with gunmen the village of al-Muqata south of Sheikh Zuweid.
The sources added that officers from Sheikh Zuweid hit a booby-trapped vehicle with an RPG shell as it was approaching checkpoints outside the town police station, killing two people inside the car.
According to the Egyptian security sources, the vehicle was loaded with two tons of explosives.
The sources added that army forces detonated two houses near the Sheikh Zuweid police station, killing seven gunmen who were hiding inside.
Egyptian military and police forces have been the target of ongoing attacks, which have increased since Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi took power from democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.
The Egyptian president came under attack following his violent suppression of Muslim Brotherhood members following his rise to power, which Sisi has argued is necessary to deter future attacks in the Sinai and across Egypt.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the militant group responsible for a majority of attacks on military personnel, aligned with the Islamic State (ISIS) group in November 2014, changing its name to Sinai Province.