CAIRO (AP) — Egypt says its security forces have killed 11 suspected militants in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, where it has been fighting an insurgency for years.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement Tuesday saying it had received information about insurgents hiding at a farm in the city of el-Arish.

The statement says that while police forces were hunting the militants, a shootout ensued and the militants were killed. It said they had in their possession seven rifles, two explosive devices and an explosive belt.

The statement didn’t say when the raid took place or whether police had casualties.

It was not impossible to independently confirm the claims as access to northern Sinai is heavily restricted.

Egypt has battled Islamic militants for years in the Sinai Peninsula in an insurgency, where the IS affiliate is based. The insurgency escalated after the military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013.