Egypt's military spokesman says Islamic militants have exploded a suicide car bomb at a checkpoint in northern Sinai and clashed with troops, leaving eight dead.

Mohammed Samir said in a statement posted on his official Facebook page that the militants late Thursday also blew up an armored vehicle at the checkpoint near the restive city of el-Arish. At least 12 troops were injured.

Samir said three of the militants were killed and the rest are on the run. He also said the car bomb was laden with a large amount of explosives.

No group claimed responsibility.

The Egyptian military has been battling Islamic extremists in Sinai for years. The Islamic State affiliate has claimed responsibility for the country's worst attacks.