Dozens of masked militants then opened fire on the soldiers, Associated Press cited official sources as saying. It was unclear if they took over armored vehicles as well.
The next army compound is located an hour's drive away, leaving the targeted site with no support except for local, armed tribesmen from the Tarabeen, who have their own small checkpoints nearby.
"Law enforcement forces in northern Sinai succeeded in foiling a terrorist attack carried out by extremist elements", read an army statement released midday Friday.
Separately on Friday a state security officer was shot and killed outside his home in Qalubiya, a province just north of Cairo, while on his way to Friday prayers, an interior ministry statement said. He didn't prove a breakdown.
Twenty-three Egyptian soldiers were killed or wounded on Friday in a suicide attack on northeastern Sinai, Egyptian army sources said. The army posted photos of five dead militants in blood-soaked fatigues lying in the sand, though it did not identify which militant group it believed the men belonged to.
No group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Islamic State militants have been waging an insurgency in the rugged, thinly populated Sinai Peninsula.
However, in recent years Egypt has been battling militants from an Islamic State group affiliate in the area.
The attacks were mainly centered in Sinai Peninsula, but some extended to the capital and Delta cities.
Daesh has also attacked tourists, killing all 224 on board a Russian plane carrying holidaymakers in 2015, as well as Christian churches elsewhere in Egypt.
"These inhumane attacks, whether in Egypt or in England, only strengthen our determination to defeat the terrorist killers", Casson said, adding that the United Kingdom would continue standing with Egypt in its war against terrorism.
_Ashraf Sweilam in El-Arish, Egypt.