Egypt's Interior Ministry says two soldiers have been killed by a road-side car bomb in northern Sinai.

The ministry says in a statement that 16 other soldiers were injured in the Saturday explosion in the provincial capital el-Arish. The car, parked on the side of the road, exploded when the soldiers' vehicle was passing by, according to the statement.

In a statement posted on a jihadi website, the Islamic State affiliate in Egypt claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Egyptian government has been battling a long-running insurgency in northern Sinai, which escalated after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 amid massive protests against his rule and cracked down on Islamic groups.