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Thursday's statement did not specify the number of dead or provide further details, ABC News reported.

Military spokesman Mohamed Samir says "these details only concern (them). Why does it interest the media or anyone else?"

A day earlier, officials said a roadside bomb struck an armored personnel carrier in the turbulent north of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula killing an army colonel and three soldiers.

Egypt has been battling a burgeoning Islamic insurgency in the peninsula that mainly targets police and military posts. In recent months, attacks have increased in frequency and spilled over to the mainland after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.