Gunmen have seized seven Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula, a security official said Thursday, dpa reported.
The masked gunmen kidnapped the soldiers - four army troops and three policemen - in the town of Al-Arish in northern Sinai and took them to an unknown location, added the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"It is likely that the gunmen abducted the soldiers to pressure the government into releasing relatives being held in prison," the official said.
No-one has claimed responsibility.
The remote desert peninsula has suffered from major security problems since president Hosny Mubarak was toppled in February 2011.
In August, the army launched an operation against radical Islamists suspected of killing 16 soldiers in the town of Rafah near the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip.