An air strike in Egypt's northern Sinai peninsula has killed five suspected armed fighters, news agencies have reported quoting Egyptian sources and witnesses.

It said the source of the strike was not clear, with some sources claiming it to be an Israeli drone strike while others credited the Egyptian military.

Residents heard a large explosion on Friday in the region near the border with Israel.

Egypt's army said two explosions were heard at about 4:15pm (1415 GMT) in the Al-Ojra area, 3km from the border with Israel.

"The armed forces are combing the area of the explosions to find out the cause," army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Aly said in a statement. Witnesses said Egyptian military helicopters hovered above the site after
the blasts.

Egypt's military and security forces are engaged in a long battle against armed fighters in the largely lawless peninsula. On Thursday, Israel briefly closed an airport near the border after Egyptian officials warned of possible rocket attacks.

Source: Agencies