Five policemen have been killed in an armed attack on a security checkpoint south of Cairo, Egyptian state television has reported.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that masked gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on the Beni Suef checkpoint early on Thursday, in an attack that also wounded two policemen. The assailants fled the scene.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Egypt has seen a sharp rise in drive-by shootings and attacks targeting police and the military in the aftermath of the coup last July.

At least 250 police and soldiers have been killed in attacks since the army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi deposed Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

The most prominent attack was a failed assassination attempt on the interior minister in Cairo in September and the December suicide car bombing that targeted a security headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, leaving nearly 16 dead, most of them policemen.

Thursday's incident took place two days before the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that ended the three-decade presidency of Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, at least one student has been killed in clashes between rival Egyptian students at a university in Alexandria.

The student was killed when pro-Morsi protesters clashed with their opponents at Alexandria University, the police in the Mediterranean city said in a statement.

Source: Agencies