Egyptian security and medical officials say suspected Islamic militants have attacked an army checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 12 soldiers.

The officials say the Friday attack about 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of the Suez Canal wounded another eight soldiers. They had no word on casualties among the militants.

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

Egypt has for years battled militants in Sinai, but the insurgency has grown deadlier and spread into the mainland since the 2013 ouster of an elected Islamist president. The militants are now led by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

There has been a recent surge in attacks in Sinai, but attacks elsewhere in Egypt have declined.