Egypt's Interior Ministry says a first lieutenant and two soldiers have been killed in an explosion which targeted a police armored vehicle in the northern Sinai city of el-Arish.

The ministry says eight soldiers were injured in the Saturday explosion.

The incident follows a Friday roadside bomb which killed a police officer, also in el-Arish.

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.

The Islamic State affiliate in Egypt has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in northern Sinai.

While the violence has largely been confined to Sinai, bombs have also hit other parts of the country, including Cairo.