Egyptian officials say a roadside bomb hit an armored personnel carrier in the turbulent north of the Sinai Peninsula, killing an army colonel and three soldiers.

The security and health officials say Wednesday's blast south of the city of el-Arish wounded another 12 soldiers, some of whom are in critical condition.

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

Egypt has for years been fighting a Sinai-based Islamic insurgency. The attacks have grown more frequent and deadlier since 2013, when President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, then the defense minister, led the military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack, which bore the hallmarks of a local Islamic State affiliate.