An Egyptian military officer says the army has killed a leading al-Qaida-inspired militant and his son in clashes in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

The official said army units killed Mohammed Hussein Muhareb and his son Mansour Tuesday in a firefight with a group of militants in al-Joura village, south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid.

The official said Muhareb was the leader of a militant cell responsible for an August attack that killed 25 Egyptian police conscripts.

Other militants fled the area leaving the bodies of Muhareb and his son, the spokesman said on condition of anonymity, according to regulations.

The northern Sinai region, which borders the Gaza Strip and Israel, has been restless for years. But attacks have grown more frequent since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.