Assailants on a motorbike have killed a policeman and wounded another in a drive-by shooting in the Egyptian capital, the interior ministry said.

"Armed men on a motorcycle opened fire on the police before fleeing," ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif told the AFP news agency on Saturday.

The police officers had been guarding branches of two foreign banks, Britain's HSBC and Union National Bank of the United Arab Emirates, when they were attacked near a Cairo square.

Scores of policemen and soldiers have been killed in bombings and shootings since the Egyptian military deposed president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Most of the attacks have been in the Sinai Peninsula, the deadliest of them claimed by Beit al-Maqdis, an armed group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The latest attacks came a day after police shot dead two members of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the interior ministry said.

It claimed one of the fighters killed at a checkpoint east of the capital was responsible for the group's operations in the Cairo region.

"The occupants of the car opened fire to try to get away, but the police fired back," it added.

"Three policemen and two civilians there by chance were injured" and the two fighters were killed, it said.

The ministry said the two men killed had taken part in several attacks on the army and the police, including one on November 28 in Cairo that killed a brigadier and a soldier.

Police also found guns and ammunition in an east Cairo apartment used by one of them.

Source: Agencies