Security officials say at least 15 Egyptian troops have been killed in an attack by gunmen in the country's western desert.

An Interior Ministry official and a military official said the gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint Saturday in the western desert governorate of Wadi el-Gedid, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) from Cairo.

The officials said the gunmen also used rocket-propelled grenades in the attack. The officials said three attackers were killed in ensuing clashes. A medical official said five troops, including officers, were wounded.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.