Sinai area
Sinai areaThinkstock

A multi-pronged jihadist attack against the Egyptian military in the Sinai Peninsula has left up to 50 Egyptian soldiers dead, according to local security and medical sources.

The attacks, which were claimed by a terrorist group linked to the Islamic State (ISIS), included a suicide car bomb detonated against a military checkpoint at Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai, which caused most of the casualties. There were also apparently multiple attacks on other military checkpoints and an explosive device was detonated on a major highway.

About seventy terrorists simultaneously attacked five checkpoints in the area, security sources say, and some 39 terrorists were killed in the clashes, according to the Egyptian military.

A police station in the town of Sheikh Zuweid was among the targets of the attacks, witnesses said.

Islamist terrorists have launched many attacks killing hundreds of police and soldiers in the northern Sinai. The most active group is the ISIS affiliate called “Sinai Province,” formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

"Sinai Province" claimed this latest attack as well, saying in a statement that it attacked 15 separate positions in an assault which involved three suicide bombers.

Witnesses reported hearing explosions in Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah.

It has also been reported that several Egyptian soldiers or civilians were abducted.