Five soldiers and three civilians were wounded in a series of overnight attacks on security outposts in the Sinai Peninsula, an Egyptian government spokesman told Efe Wednesday.

"Terrorist groups" assaulted a barracks, two army checkpoints and the Border Guard's intelligence hub in Rafah, near Egypt's boundary with Gaza, the spokesman said.

The attackers used machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, he said, while the Egyptian army deployed helicopter gunships against the militants.

Security forces in the Sinai launched an offensive against armed groups late last month, just as massive protests against President Mohammed Morsi were taking place across Egypt.

Violence has been a problem in the Sinai for months, intensifying since the Egyptian military ousted the country's Islamist head of state on July 3. EFE