Five militants from Egyptian terror group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis were killed by Egyptian security forces in clashes on Sunday, the Egyptian interior ministry has confirmed.

The militants "opened fire" after police raided a farm where the militants had gone into hiding and were preparing explosive devices, according to an interior ministry statement.

"An exchange of gunfire then took place, causing the deaths of five members of the terrorist cell while a police officer was injured," the statement added.

Police found suicide belts, weapons, ammunition and also detonated a car bomb by remote control at the farm based in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya.

Last month, the militant group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State [Isis] via an audio clip released on their official Twitter account.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said that the North African country confronts an "existential threat" from militants in the Sinai Peninsula, who have carried out numerous attacks since last year's coup which overthrew Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.

In October, 33 Egyptian security forces were killed in two attacks in the Sinai, leading Cairo to issue a three-month state of emergency in the northern Sinai.