EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Egyptian security officials say four policemen have been killed in an ambush in restive northern Sinai peninsula where Islamic militants are active.

They said the policemen were heading to the town of el-Arish early Wednesday when gunmen attacked the car they were riding in and opened fire, killing one police officer, a low-ranking policeman and two conscripts.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Egypt in recent years has been battling a stepped-up insurgency in northern Sinai, mainly by militants from an Islamic State group affiliate. The campaign accelerated after the military ousted elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.