TEHRAN (Press Shia) – An attack on an Egyptian military checkpoint killed 12 soldiers and wounded six others on Friday in the Sinai Peninsula, the army said.

Mortar rounds were fired at the army post, a police official and a medic told AFP.

The army spokesman said in a statement that soldiers clashed with the assailants in the northern Sinai.

“Terrorist elements attacked a checkpoint in the northern Sinai. The clashes left 12 soldiers dead and wounded six others,” the statement said.

It said that “15 terrorists were killed”.

An earlier toll given by security and medical sources said at least nine soldiers were killed.

The attack took place in the Bir al-Abd area west of El-Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai, the officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The Egyptian affiliate of the ISIL group has claimed several attacks on security forces and foreigners in the Sinai in the past.

Bir al-Abd has so far been largely spared the violence that has rocked northern Sinai over the past three years.

Terrorists in Egypt have killed hundreds of soldiers and police since the military overthrew president Mohammad Mursi in 2013.

Earlier this month, gunmen killed five Egyptian police conscripts in El-Arish.

The terrorists claimed the bombing last year of a Russian airliner carrying tourists home from a Sinai resort. All 224 people on board were killed.