The Egyptian affiliate of the jihadist Islamic State (ISIS) group claimed responsibility on Thursday for an attack that killed a colonel and three soldiers in North Sinai.
The Wednesday attack targeted troops in North Sinai’s provincial capital of El-Arish.
According to security and health officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, the attack wounded another 12 soldiers, some of whom are in critical condition.
In a statement distributed by IS sympathizers on social media, the militant group said that it had killed and wounded more than 20 soldiers, including senior officers, during the attack.
Authorities say hundreds of policemen and soldiers have been killed in attacks, mainly in North Sinai, since 2013, although there have also been attacks in the Nile Delta and in Cairo.
According to Human Rights Watch militant attacks across Egypt had increased dramatically in 2015, despite Egypt’s commitment of additional security forces.
Egypt has been hit with a wave of suicide bombings and militant attacks that intensified after the military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.
The local Islamic State affiliate has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.