At least eight police officers have been killed and three wounded in an attack on a security checkpoint in Egypt's New Valley province in the Western Desert, according to the interior ministry.

The attack on Monday occurred at around 8:15pm local time (18:15 GMT) in Naqb checkpoint, about 70km away from Kharga city, state television said.

Two of the assailants were killed and the remaining attackers were being pursued, according to the ministry.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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Attacks on Egyptian security forces are common in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip, where a local branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group operates.

Incidents in the Western Desert are rarer, although 22 soldiers were killed in an attack near the Farafra oasis. northwest of Kharga. in July 2014.

In September 2015, eight Mexican tourists and four Egyptians accompanying them were killed near the Bahariya oasis, further north, when security forces mistook them for armed rebels they were seeking in the area.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies