EL-ARISH, Egypt — Officials say Egypt has deployed at least two helicopter gunships to the Sinai Peninsula in the hunt for militants behind the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers at a checkpoint along the border with Israel.

Security and military officials said Monday that more aircraft were expected to arrive in the town of El-Arish ahead of a military campaign against the militants in the area. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Suspected Islamists on Sunday evening attacked the Egyptian checkpoint, killed the troops, then stole two of their vehicles and burst through a security fence into Israel. Israeli aircraft then halted their assault.