An Egyptian military personnel carrier patrols on the Egyptian side of the border between Egypt and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 1, 2015 (Photo: AP)
The death toll among Egyptian army soldiers has risen to seven following a blast near a security checkpoint in North Sinai on Saturday evening, a military spokesman announced on Sunday.
On Saturday, spokesman Brigadier General Mohamed Samir said that three soldiers were killed and four others wounded in the wake of the attack.
He also said that forces were engaged in battles against militants in three different areas south of Sheikh Zuweid town.
In his statement on Sunday, Samir reported that the death toll rose to seven "at the end of a day of fighting."
He also announced that the army's forces have killed 59 "terrorists," destroyed two weapons depots, two vehicles and four motorcycles, and arrested four people.
Egypt's army has been battling a militant Islamist insurgency in North Sinai that has intensified over the past two years. Civilians are also among the victims of the conflict.
On 1 July, Islamic State group militants launched multiple attacks against army and security forces in and around Sheikh Zuweid, leaving at least 21 soldiers dead.
The Egyptian army stated that it soon regained control of the town after fierce battles.
In the past two weeks the Egyptian army has been carrying out intense strikes against the insurgents' strongholds, which reportedly left more than 200 militant fighters dead.