CAIRO — Egyptian security officials say masked gunmen riding on a motorcycle killed five policemen at a checkpoint in the country’s south.

The officials said the attack took place early Thursday when the armed men opened fire on the checkpoint in the el-Wassta district in the southern province of Bani Suief.

Two policemen were also wounded in the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

Egypt has seen a sharp rise in drive-by shootings and attacks targeting police and the military in the aftermath of the popularly-backed coup last July in which the army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The most prominent attack was a failed assassination attempt on the interior minister in Cairo in September.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.