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Truck bomb and gun attack kills 8 police in Sinai

Attack followed weekend of violence during military sweep of North Sinai's main cities against militants
Egyptian residents and emergency personnel gather at the site of a car bomb explosion that targeted a police station in North Sinai's provincial capital of El-Arish on April 12, 2015. (AFP)

A truck bomb attack on an Egyptian security checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula killed at least eight policemen on Monday, officials and state media said.

Police officials said a suicide bomber rammed a truck packed with explosives into the checkpoint in the north Sinai city of El-Arish and gunmen then opened fire on the security post.

The Islamic State group's Egyptian branch in the Sinai Peninsula has carried out several such attacks over the past two years.

Eight people were also wounded in the attack, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported on its website.

The attack follows reports that six militants believed to be members of IS-affiliated "Sinai Province” were killed by security forces on Sunday morning during a security sweep in Al-Arish, a North Sinai-based journalist told Egypt's Daily News on condition of anonymity.

The sweep took place in El-Dehisha, south of the city, when militants opened fire on them which led to a gun battle, the journalist said.

And on Saturday three militants were reportedly killed during an attack on an army checkpoint east of Sheikh Zuweid during an hours-long military operation in north Sinai's main cities, Egypt News said.

Militants have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, which unleashed a bloody crackdown on his supporters.

Most of the attacks have taken place in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

In November, a car bomb attack on a checkpoint in Sinai killed eight soldiers.

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