Egyptian officials say militants have attacked an army checkpoint in northern Sinai, near the border with Gaza, killing an officer.

Medical and security officials say the checkpoint of el-Barahma in the town of Rafah was attacked early on Wednesday morning, triggering a shootout that killed 26-year-old Capt. Ayman Hassan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to reporters.

Egypt has been battling an Islamic insurgency in northern Sinai for years, but attacks against army and police there have dramatically increased since the 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The military has undertaken a major offensive against militants in restive Sinai — where Egypt's Islamic State affiliate is based — and declared a state of emergency, along with a dusk-to-dawn curfew.