Egypt's interior minister has fired the security chief of North Sinai governorate after an attack killed three policemen in the regional capital on Sunday.

The interior ministry said on Sunday that General Ahmed Bakr was relieved of his duties, and replaced by General Sameeh Beshendi.

Three officers were killed and one wounded in Saturday's attack in El-Arish, which was likely carried out by Islamist fighters who Egyptian security forces have been hunting for in the region, according to security sources. 

The gunmen escaped following the attack and have not yet been identified by authorities. 

Dozens of policemen went on strike Sunday, blocking the main roads as the defence and interior ministers arrived. They demanded a stronger military campaign against the militants.

Egyptian forces launched the biggest security crackdown that the area near Israel has seen in decades following the killing of 16 border guards on August 5.

Disorder has spread in Sinai since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year, with fighters stepping up attacks on security forces near the Israeli border.

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's new president, has pledged to restore security in the poor, desolate region.

Source: Agencies